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Album Review : StoneWire Life as we know it

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Every now and then an album comes along and grabs your heart, your head, your every living sense and sends them all into a spin as you get to grips with the power, rhythm and beauty that is being thrust at you from your stereo speakers. For me, that happened within a few bars of StoneWire’s quite exquisite second album having the play button pressed on it and after countless playbacks, both at home and in the car, my thoughts and feelings on what I am going to call a “masterpiece” have not changed one iota.

This is a phenomenal album that needs turning up to 11 and being shared with everyone it can be! Do not be afraid to wake up the neighbours with this stellar sophomore release, which was released on November 1st 2019, some 5 years after their debut.

From the moment the blistering guitars and pummelling drums that herald the start of opening track “Monkey Talk” brought my stereo speakers to life, I had a feeling I was in for a real treat with this album. Once Sky Hunter’s gravelly vocals kicked in it really set the tone for what is a blisteringly hot rocker of an album that I don’t think you will be able to put down, I know I couldn’t.

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One For The Road” is a brooding, smouldering track that has a real Southern rock feel to it. The vocals are gloriously imposing over the exquisite guitar work from Duncan and Gaz. They are so rich in tone and there is definitely something within the bluesy raspy texture to Sky’s voice that draws you in on every word she sings. Whatever these guys and gal did during the 5 years in between their two album releases it has certainly paid off for them as everything about this track and album is of the highest calibre.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nRJepae_yc&w=560&h=315]

First single from the album “FTM” comes next. It is another captivating and pulsating rocker with a mesmerising beat to keep your hands and feet busy whilst your ear dreams don’t get even the slightest rest. The more the album goes on, the more fixating Sky’s voice becomes and then it dawned on me, she is the modern era Ann Wilson.

The power in her soaring vocal range, the grit in the bluesy parts of it and the passion she sings with is so comparable to the legendary Heart singer it is like they are a kindred spirit. I am not sure I can pay a higher compliment but it is so justifiable deserved in my opinion. “House Rules” is a gutsy bluesy rocker that has a totally infectious Rob Glasner driven beat to it. Full of dazzling guitar parts and even more ravishing vocals, it is a scorching number that will make you pull out the air guitar or the hairdryer and really get lost in the moment.

The soulful, harmonious intro to “Hero’s Journey” is the perfect way to bring in such a gloriously epic track that takes the album to it’s mid-point. The emotion that the twin guitars bring to the track is something of real beauty and every time I listened to it I just closed my eyes and took it in, over and over and over again. It is not only evident in the majestic solo that many more exalted guitarists would be proud to call their own but throughout the whole song. If this track was written by any number of more famed bands within the genre then I believe there would be many conversations had about it over a beer or two down your local with your rock music loving mates.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu6DOmTab8M&w=560&h=315]

“Life As We Know It”, the albums imperious title track is another heavy bluesy rocker that just oozes molten lava from your stereo speakers. It has an enchanting and seductive vibe to it and has more swagger than Jagger. “All That Matters” starts off with a mesmerising, swirling guitar intro before bursting into life.

Full of rip-snorting electrifying guitars and towering vocals that accompany the all powerful and commanding rhythm section of Rob Glasner and Steve Briggs this track has a real attitude about it. “Kick Up Some Dust” is yet another bluesy ball busting rocker with plenty of 70’s and 80’ influences running though it that make it one of my favourite tracks on the album. The way Sky sings those lyrics and holds those notes, all I can say is if and when Heart return to these shores, Ann Wilson better bring her A game as Ms Hunter will give her a run for money if ever their paths crossed.

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I absolutely adore the guitar sound on “Top Shelf Conversation” which like all the other tracks on the album is full of delicious guitar parts and has a chest thumping beat to it and this leads us superbly to the releases final track, “A Step Too Far”, which is a rather magnificent smouldering bluesy number to draw things to a conclusion. Briggs and Glasner lay down a sumptuous groove on the track, which along with the dynamic twin guitars from Annable and Greenway and those heavenly raspy, guttural vocals finish the album with undoubted style and class that just leaves you wanting more and more and more.

“Life As We Know It” is an album full of addictive melody and biting riffs from a band that play “classic British rock with a dirty southern twist”. There is something in it for every rock and blues fan and it was without doubt one of the best 10 new albums I had the pleasure of hearing in 2019. I have played and played and played this album and have not grown bored of it, nor can I see myself doing so.

The quality in the musicianship and the song writing is unquestionably of the highest order. Don’t just take my word for it, grab a copy of the album and have a listen for yourself as the tracks on offer are captivating, interesting and grab your heart and soul.

With this review now written, I am going to pour myself a nice big whisky, turn on the stereo and raise a glass to the 5 piece collective that are StoneWire for bringing this magnificent 10 song collection to the world. Cheers guys and gal, here’s to you, for making an old rocker very very happy.

Review by Darren Smith for MPM

Find them online at

Facebook – @StoneWireUK

Twitter – @StoneWireMusic

Instagram – stonewire

You Tube – StoneWireMusic

Website – www.stonewire.net

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