Stone Thieves “Church of the Medicine Man” (EP) (Independent, 2020)

A four-track E.P. for our delectation. Or maybe a three-track E.P. – the fourth track being a rearranged, piano-based reprise of the guitar-driven first track. Let’s not get bogged down in semantics though. These (fifty per cent bearded) Londoners make a sound that’s overtly influenced by Petty, Young, Springsteen; the usual triumvirate of blue-collar suspects. All of whom are/were brilliant in their own way: Stone Thieves bear no shame in being so guided.

So; what do our plucky quartet then do with these influences? Where do they take them to? Disappointingly, Stone Thieves don’t really take things anywhere. It’s a little too predictable, lyrically too pre-used and hackneyed. Opening track ‘Wheels’ has a rousing chorus, but it feels like something of a ‘Tom Petty studio out-take’. ‘Medicine Man’ has an interesting ‘stoppy-starty’ introduction, but the interest soon wanes, and the stoppy-starty motif becomes gimmicky in its repetition. Again, the lyrics are somewhat tired, and the song veers into Bon Jovi territory towards the end.

Let The Good Times Roll’ is a slow ballad with an uninspiring title and, again, equally uninspiring lyrics. It meanders along in a perfectly ordinary fashion, despite the emotion that’s trying to be portrayed. The piano only reprise of ‘Wheels’ is probably the best of the tracks; it’s a little different and is something of a refreshing change. These guys probably make a pleasing noise as a live act, but the songs don’t stand up too tall when recorded and sent out into the world.

Uninspiring blue collar Americana

About Mark Nenadic 107 Articles
Quite likes music. Doesn't really like people. From The North. Exiled in The Midlands due to radical views on whippets/flat caps. Beards and plaid shirts belong on Willie Nelson. Everybody else should smarten up a bit ..
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