We first came across The Stone Angels when researching for a piece on the debut album from fellow Brits, Brighton hailing Stone Angels in 2015. This subsequently led us to checking out for pleasure the first full-length from the Torquay in Devon trio, Spirit, Love & Higher Meanings upon its release the following year. It proved to be an ear pleasing melodic rock bred endeavour which ensured attention, reaching well beyond us, found and stayed upon the band. Now the threesome has unveiled their new self-titled EP offering up more highly enjoyable slices of their lively sound.
Described as the ‘South West’s best kept secret’, The Stone Angels consists of guitarist/vocalist Dan Nathan, bassist Nathan Hughes, and drummer Sam McIver. It is fair to say that their so called ‘anonymity ‘ has not stopped their reputation and fan base swelling through that debut album and performances at numerous well-known festivals and appearances on BBC Introducing in Devon. With a UK tour across September following their new EP, we suggest that the band will feel another increase in attention as they continue their strong emergence on the British rock scene.
The EP opens up with To The Light and immediately ears are faced with forceful but inviting riffs and firm rhythms to which spicy grooves add their lures. Electronic enticement joins the track’s threads of enterprise as it settles into a calmer stroll, a reserved moment building towards a fiercer expulsion and a quickly virulent and rousing chorus. Providing a strong and ear grabbing start to the released, the song only increases its captivation by the minute and listen; its rock ‘n’ roll not particularly unique but oh so contagious.
The following Animal matches its predecessor in imagination and potency, unveiling its chorus early on with equal catchiness involved. With Nathan providing magnetic backing to Dan’s similarly strong lead vocals, the track infests ears and body movements with its bold classic meets hard rock stroll. The grumble of the former’s bass is just as manipulative to rock ‘n’ roll instincts as the swinging raps of McIver; it all together providing another seriously enjoyable offering.
With its acoustic entrance Fear easily entices attention, firmly gripping it with its evolving pop rock saunter. There is a main hook at its middle which just dares you to ignore it, an impossible task, while melodies and keys weave their own warm come-on to the imagination as the track establishes its infectious character and prowess.
A cover of The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me follows. As it is a song which we have always instinctively and totally disliked, it would be unfair to pass judgement but the trio do grab it with a firm hand without making it their own before closing the EP up with Set Me Free. The final song brings the release back on track with its pop catchiness and bold rock ‘n’ roll tenacity, a slight Spandau Ballet hue only adding to its robust attraction.
Thoroughly enjoyable from the off and increasingly impressing by the listen, The Stone Angels EP confirms the band as ones to keep a keen ear upon especially as their individuality maybe hinted at here blossoms ahead.
The Stone Angels EP is released August 24th.
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