Fin Power’s vocal delivery is a fluid stream of consciousness and aggression

Newly signed to Polydor, STONE have selected Al Groves to produce this brisk, nihilistic riff-monster. Any suspicions he would evoke his early-90s work with fellow Liverpudlians Cast are immediately blown away by a squawk of feedback and a scowling bass riff.

Groves pushes for a sound more akin to post-hardcore punks The Icarus Line, putting Sarah Surrage’s colossal bass tone right up front, even louder than Alex Smith’s compact, unshowy performance on the drums.

Fin Power’s vocal delivery is a fluid stream of consciousness and aggression; his tightly-wound vocals hover all over the mix, backed up by a taut, surprisingly hard arrangement. The Al Groves drum sound is present and correct.

The middle 8 finds Power is in a bar in a dissociated state. Losing your mind, he sings, is a matter of taste, of which Al Groves clearly had a lapse when he decided not to emphasise STONE’s latent Manchester sound.

Although the band could easily be mistaken for austere post-punks like Protomartyr or Fontaines D.C., they have the soul of an early ‘90s Mancunian hippy. The only outlet for this in ‘Waste’ is Elliot Gill’s sparkling wash of guitar. His curdled-milk distorted tone is peppered with jangly leads, lending the song an ambience which would make A Storm in Heaven-era Verve proud.

However, the production is less ‘Breaking into Heaven’ and more breaking and entering. Maybe STONE could take the post-punk-revival-revival to another level. If the production let them breathe, they might reveal themselves to be better than that.

Words: Rob Tamplin

Leave a Reply