Stone Foundation – A Life Unlimited

stonefoundation_RingMaster Review

With the soulful heart of The Bureau, the brass revelry of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and hues seemingly hailing from decades of soul, funk, and jazz temptation, the new Stone Foundation album is a tonic for anyone’s day. A Life Unlimited is full-on captivation from start to finish but what sets it and the band apart is a tone and uniqueness which bonds all essences into something you just cannot hear anywhere else. It is mix which has lit up three previous acclaimed releases and now caught fire in the band’s latest provocative shuffle of sound.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Neil Jones and bassist Neil Sheasby, Stone Foundation was not a project rushed into realisation and the public ear but one honed and pieced together as the right people were discovered and enlisted to make the eight-piece the potent temptation they have proved to be across their releases and a live presence which has seen the band ignite small and lively sweaty venues, support The Specials on a UK tour after being spotted at such a show by drummer John Bradbury, and be invited to Japan as a part of a “visit Britain” campaign by the British embassy. Their records have been just as potent in luring and breeding the band’s reputation on the soul/jazz funk scene and indeed charts, previous album To Find the Spirit their most successful and inciting release to date, well until A Life Unlimited. The band has hit a new plateau with their new ten track romance of the imagination, and a brand of sound which even has more aggressive tastes for the main enthralled.

cover_RingMaster Review     The album opens with new single Beverley, a coaxing of ears by guitar, welcoming beats, and the Ian Arnold cast Hammond bred seducing by which the band’s sound is partly renowned for. In no time the song flows like a warm breeze on the senses, the beats of drummer Phillip K. Ford and percussionist Rob Newton gently but richly magnetic as a brass embrace from Gareth John, Gary Rollins, and Adam Stevens offers fire and mesmerism. The sultry funk air of the track is just as bewitching and though other songs excite personal tastes with more pungent energy and adventure, it is the perfect lead into band and album.

The slow and reflective hug of Pushing Your Love comes next, its soulfully transfixing croon a melancholic smile of harmonies and keys whilst Something In The Light right after, has hips swaying and feet eager to shuffle around the dance-floor with its relaxed but eventful stroll. Once again keys and horns collude in a masterful kiss on ears and imagination as guitar and rhythms simultaneously spin their own invitation. As all tracks, many styles converge into one fascinating proposition, soul, jazz, and folkish enterprise uniting here under an invigorating noir hued sky.

The seventies honed swing of The Turnaround keeps the album burning brightly, even if it does not quite have the spark of its predecessors. In saying that, a great mix of vocals with Jones joined at times by female company and a bubbly texture throughout, ensures it has body and emotions well on board before the humid smoulder of the excellent Speak your Piece and the crystalline moonlit air of The Night Teller add their alluring strolls to the album’s canvas. The first, like a few others, seems to get feistier and more resourceful with every passing minute whilst its successor provides a slice of creative intimacy which only has seduction on its mind from voice to brass flaming, melodic lures to flirtatious rhythms.

Learning The Hard Way is an instant favourite with its Bobby Womack meets By The Rivers meets Fine Young Cannibals festival of enterprise but still soon outshone by the thrilling These Life Stories whose rhythmic bait alone has ears and appetite hooked. In their individual ways, both songs are inflamed by the soothing yet anthemic flame of brass and the latter by an additional dark bassline which reeks seduction. Keys and guitar only add to the webs of tempting, traps the distinctive tones of Jones further colour with expression and emotion.

The album’s title track saunters in next with its eighties northern soul air and cosmopolitan flavours to continue the new plateau the album has hit over the past couple of songs, before the melancholically enchanting instrumental Old Partners, New Dances brings A Love Uprising to an evocative close.

Stone Foundation has produced an album to romance to, reminisce and reflect with, and even chase shadows away through. A Life Unlimited also has the adventure and bite for those with the want of a more pronounced snarl in their music to get off on. Acclaim is already soaking this proposal and really it is no surprise.

A Life Unlimited is available now via The Turning Point Recording Organisation / Republic Of Music digitally and on CD/vinyl.

RingMaster 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright



Categories: Album, Music

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: