Friday, August 22, 2008

Review -- STONE RIVER -- Self-Titled

STONE RIVER
Self-Titled
Independent
9-out-of-10

In a world where music seems increasingly fractionalized, with little sub genre categories popping up to be the next hot 10-week trend, it's comforting once in a while to find some good old rock 'n roll.
Stone River is an Ontario-based band which is doing just that. There aren't a bunch of musical gimmicks, and sub genre labels here.
Instead Jeff Desilets and Darren Flower power Stone River with hard driving guitars, while Renan Yildizdogan adds vocals. Jay Macedo on bass and Scott Larocque on drums round out the quintet. The overall result is a band from the mold of an Aerosmith.
The band has something of a retro feel, especially evident on a cut like Cold Black River. However, this is not a clone of the past of rock, but instead Stone River has simply chosen to keep things simple and straight forward.
You take hard driving rock, which stops well short of metal screamer bands, add a dash of blues, and come up with something akin to Lynyrd Skynyrd, at least in as much as there is the southern fried feel on cuts such as Come On, and the result is a wiinner.
Stone River can change it up too, with an AC/DC inspired cut like Can't Help Loving Her.
This band is hard enough to satisfy a metal head on a mellow day, soft enough to be accessible by a fan of a band like Nickelback, retro enough to please a fan of vintage Aerosmith, and good enough they should be on a major label.
The best cut on the album is likely the more laid back On These Turning Tides, a cut with compelling lyrics which Stone River allows to take the lead role here, as the guitars are toned down a bit.
That said, there really isn't a weak effort on this CD. This quintet rocks, plain, simple, and to the point, and in the end you don't need a gimmick if you are honest to the music like Stone River is. Buy this one and rock on.
Check them out at www.stonerivermusic.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 20, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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