Album review: Stone Rising: Self-titled

Stone Rising are a four piece hard rocking juggernaut who have been honing their amped-up craft at a grassroots level around the Gold Coast and Northern NSW regions for a number of years now.

Their self-titled debut album represents the culmination of their ‘jammed-out’ approach to making music, made up of the cream of their output, forged within practise sheds and selected stages and mini-festivals over the past ten years. The album was recorded in Mullumbimby at the renowned Hydrofunk Studios (founded by Resin Dogs legend Dave Atkins.)

One can hear elements of classic era AC/DC, with a dash of ‘Electric’ era Cult, within the scuzzed-up grooves of the album’s ten hard rocking numbers. Vocalist Greasy Belcher can howl and growl with the best of them, channelling both his inner Oz rock front-man while also touching upon the upper registers of Ian Astbury (front man of The Cult), when the occasion calls. Meanwhile, the rock solid rhythm section of bassist ‘Roxxon’ and drummer ‘Dave’ keep things tough and tight throughout. And ace lead guitarist ‘Rowie Riot’ channels his inner-Slash (in both look and axe skills) throughout, his fist pumping licks adding both punch and panache to tracks such as the hell raising ‘Hell Yeah’, the head nodding boogie-rock of ‘Beaten Track’ and within the tough grooves of power packed opening number, ‘Waco City Blues’.

The riff-tastic ‘Rollin’, resplendent with lines such as; “Rollin’ through the weekend, goin’ off the deep end, bringing all my money to spend tonight” taps into the hearts and minds of generations of pub rock devotees across this vast land. This is followed (naturally), by the rollicking strut of ‘Party With The Band’, because, after spending all your money, what else are you gonna do at the tail end of a boisterous night of loud rock and roll!?

The band are also adept hands at taking things down a notch and expanding their horizons, with closing number, ‘Long Hard Road’, unwinding across its epic eight plus minutes, ebbing and flowing from contemplative beginnings to rousing build ups and back again. The type of track that would once upon a time induce bouts of cigarette lighter waving and arms over shoulders swaying with beers aloft within the live realm.

With this self-titled offering, Stone Rising have delivered a tough as teak, dependable hard rock manifesto.

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