Genre: Classic Rock/Blues/Southern Rock
Record Label: 22:11 Records
Release Date: 1st December 2014
Sky Hunter – Vocals
Gaz Annable – Guitar
Dan Murphy – Guitar
Steve Briggs – Bass
Rob Glasner – Drums
Walk The Line
When The Crow Flies
Mama They’ll Never Know
One Last Time
Sometimes, although rarely, something unexpected drops into my inbox from a band I haven’t heard of before and just blows me away. This Stonewire album was one such delight and has been playing constantly ever since I got it.
If you like a bit of southern style, blues infused modern rock then this will undoubtedly be right up your street and will sit well next to your Black Stone Cherry and The Answer albums. Every variation of the style is evident here and all are done so well you won’t need another new album for a while. If you like slow and heavy riffs then album closer “Fix You” is for you but it’s not a plodder, there are faster sections too to provide balance.
If you like a bit of slide guitar then Gaz Annable takes a break from the sparring that he does so well with fellow guitarist Dan Murphy and provides that for you on “Mama They’ll Never Know”, which also opens up the sound nicely to allow the rhythm section of Steve Briggs on Bass and Rob Glasner on drums to become a bit more prominent in the mix and display their skills too.
However, if you like your songs to have an epic feel to them, as I do, then the title track, “When The Crow Flies” is going to be your favourite as well as mine. Featuring bluesy slide guitar, big sounding choruses with subtle but effective backing vocals and masterful solos, this song always feels much longer than its actual length but in a good way and never overstays its welcome.
I must mention album opener “Walk The Line” as that is another favourite and has a slow building intro before blasting into such a great riff that will have you moving before you know it. And then you hear Sky Hunter’s vocals for the first time. Wow! What a voice. Powerful, melodic with a rough edge similar to Bonnie Tyler, I bet she could do some amazing Janice Joplin covers. Although lead single, “Favourite Bitch” had me thinking there may have been some channeling of Tina Turner’s Acid Queen going on there too.
“One Last Time” gives Sky the opportunity to really allow the emotion to come through in her voice and is an excellent example of the kind of blues inspired ballad with balls that must be really powerful live. And what a gorgeous solo too, full of feeling and melody.
This was a hard review to write. Every time I tried to describe what it is like, I end up writing something that sounds like it was written by the bands PR firm. Words like excellent, awesome and fantastic are all that come to mind so I’ll have to use them. I won’t be at all surprised if this is in my top ten albums of the year at the end of December and there’s a good chance it might make your list too. Start your countdown to December the 1st now!
Written by Duncan Everson