This is a good album…
Now let’s break that sentence down a bit…this is a good album…what does that actually mean? Well, it’s a good album, nothing more nothing less. The musicianship is excellent throughout; the guitars of K. Raffah are solid and full of suitably rocking desert rock inspired metallic riffing, the rhythm section of bassist S. Rebello and drummer J. Garcia are impressively tight and know exactly the right moments when to lay down a solid groove or when to step things up and inject some pace and rock things out and vocalist Johnny Lee has a decent set of pipes on him, at times reminiscent of Voivod’s Snake, it his nasal delivery. The songs, which are always the most important aspect of any album, are well written, dynamic slabs of stoner inspired hard rock with enough variations in pace and mood to ensure that listening to this album is an enjoyable enough experience as opposed to a monotonous chore. In particular “Feel My Grace” has a nice bouncy 80’s cock rock vibe and “Crawl” stands out as more memorable.
The production also has everything exactly where it should be…exactly to pinpoint perfection. The guitars are warm and fuzzy, the drums propulsive and fat and the bass underpins each song with a gutsy rumble while the vocals remain clear yet don’t dominate sitting in perfectly with the music and adding layers of harmonies at just the right moments to add emphasis. Maybe it’s a little too perfect at times and lacks the ragged edge that great rock and roll albums of the past seem to bristle with…listen to “Exile On Main Street” by the Rolling Stones…and album created in shambolic conditions that is about as inconsistent and ragged as a rock and roll album can be, yet its imperfections blend to make it one of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time.
So yeah, this is a good album, nothing more nothing less, and maybe this isn’t quite enough anymore. Is it OK to make an album in a market place in which competition is so fierce, to make an album that is just good? Don’t get me wrong, I have listened to this album a few times prior to writing this review and am listening to it as a write and I’m enjoying it, it’s a decent listen in itself and if a track came on the radio I’d probably dig the hell out of it but as an album, once the dust settles on the final track I could describe how the album sounds but could I sing you a single riff or vocal line? At best maybe one or two but that would be a struggle. It’s one thing to be a good band and make a good album but it seems there is maybe just too much of this stuff out there in this day and age. I’m missing the spark that a great band gives me. A band doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or original to have the spark…they just need the spark. Guns ‘N’ Roses rewrote the Aerosmith rule book in the space of one album but damn did they have the spark!!!!
“Red Supergiant” by Miss Lava is a good album so if you like good music by good bands and you like the general Small Stone vibe you’ll probably love the shit out of this album. Me, I like it, it’s good.
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall