The musically prolific town of Sheffield, UK has produced yet
another act which is sure to impress. Mark Stoney is the
main man behind Stoney+, both writing songs and tackling
lead vocals with panache. Stoney+ is an evolution of Stoney's
previous band, Stoneylacuna which included four other band
members. Once Stoneylacuna was picked up by Island records, two
of the band members decided to move on to other projects and Stoneylacuna
was dropped by Island. Determined not to give up, Stoney picked
up two very talented musicians by the names of Sam Jones
and Thian Robinson, and they called themselves Stoney+.
I don't want to take the easy out and say that this type of music
can't be classified, like so many other reviewers, but Stoney+
can't be forced into just one category. Stoney+ is another band
who is following the surprisingly popular UK trend towards modernizing
the Britpop styles of the 1960s. This is not to say that he is
stuck in this proverbial genre rut, as he does wander the genre
boundaries a bit. Stoney+ has a style outside of Britpop which
can be described as a mélange of folk, blues rock and electronica
with a twist of hard rock. In The Scene & The Unseen,
Stoney+ has shown that they can be a multifaceted artist while
appealing to the masses, which was shown when 'Constantly Running'
became iTunes world-wide single of the week in January '05.
There are a few tracks of note on this album, the first being
'Jailbird'. This track begins with an industrial façade
just to surprise the listener with the meat of the track being
like a mixture of Beck and The Kinks. 'Jailbird'
has great hooks and holds broad appeal. 'Best Laid Plans' is another
notable track which portrays a beautiful dark landscape with delicate
vocals and similarities to some of Margot and the Nuclear So
and Sos' tunes. It is easy to understand the popularity of
'Constantly Running'. This track begins with an almost pulsating
beat and a certain darkness created electronically, only to be
resolved by the chorus of only slightly brighter whining guitar
and crisp drums. 'Ghost' which happens to be the last track on
the album is one of my favorites. This is an entirely acoustic
track which has beautifully written lyrics. The song elegantly
puts into words the whirlwind of emotions which comes from lost
love and how people can be torn between wanting to regain that
love while knowing that it would never be possible. The song ends
on a happier note saying 'I Am not saying that we can or should
forget/ Just don't cloud our every sunrise with regret/ The curtain
hasn't fallen on us yet'. There are many other tracks which are
well worth listening to on this album which I don't have time
or space to describe.
Stoney+ definitely has some kinks to work out and experience
to gain before I could classify them as a truly great band,
but luckily they are a young band and have loads of promise
and talent. There is no doubt in my mind that these guys will
continue to come out with great music for many years to come,
and frankly I am biting my fingernails in anticipation!
2. Soap in a Bathtub
3. Bring Your Cup
5. Until You Leave
6. Best Laid Plans
7. Morning After
9. Constantly Running
10. Holds the Stars
11. One of You
12. Now's a Good Time
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