Album Review: Stonethrower – “Swells/Repels”

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Stonethrower appear to have a fine alchemical balance between all of their elements. It is immediately apparent when listening to “Swells/Repels” – their first release – that no one instrument leads the music but that it is instead the result of the dynamic interplay between all of them – including the vocals. Vocals can be an extremely important and often overlooked instrument in a lot of music. Stonethrower show an impressive understanding of the flavours brought about by each of their instruments, and they put these together in an intoxicating way. I had my suspicions after first hearing their track Tracing Paper on the Gold Mold Spring Sampler 2016 that they were a band who incorporated and utilised the vocals heavily in their song-writing; this may seem like an obvious thing to do, but I believe that many bands leave their vocal work until the end, tacking them onto a finished piece of music. This suspicion was vindicated when I received Swells/Repels on CD the other day, as the CD itself was lovingly wrapped in an A4 piece of paper containing all the lyrics.

Stonethrower are a four-piece band based in Dundee, Scotland – a particularly cultural city from whence a great many respected artists have emerged. In my experience, a lot of people used to listen to “heavy” music, but their tastes moved on and they no longer enjoy it, apart from perhaps in that which they used to know. I have continued to enjoy such “heavy” music, but did allow it to pass me by for a number of years. Stonethrower are a band whom I feel have brought me up to speed, encompassing the better elements of all of the older stuff that I used to listen to, packaged with everything that I missed and brought together a remarkably mature and well-formulated release.

Stonethrower do not evade classification, it seems that if you try hard enough you can classify anything for better or worse, but they certainly exceed the expectations of whatever classification you could hope to work them in to. I found their EP very moreish, perhaps because it flows quite naturally to me, whilst still maintaining its ability to throw curveballs and defy expectation. I have listened to their dynamic, emotional and hard-hitting EP a number of times and it has not ceased to be a joy or to get my head-banging. They bring the best out of a number of sub-genres and use that recipe to put together something truly memorable. I expect to see a lot more out of Stonethrower and cannot wait to see them live.

4/5 Stars


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