Album Review: The Blue Stones – Black Holes

The Blue Stones Black Holes Album Review

THE BLUE STONES – BLACK HOLES

RELEASED DATE: APRIL 15th, 2016

It used to take a lot for a rock duo to pique my interest. Usually when I was referred to review them I wasn’t all that psyched. I used to actually pass on reviewing a few duos because I found I was saying the same things. But I’ve found lately that there have been more and more rock duos that have proven my scepticism to be almost obsolete. That’s why I wouldn’t pass on The Blue Stones‘ upcoming album Black Holes.

It was mostly the live shows for duos that I found lackluster. It wasn’t until I saw Indian Handcrafts when I was convinced a rock duo could make a good live sound. Then I saw The Pack A.D. and it took me about three songs to realize they were a duo. And their albums aren’t half bad to boot. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that both of these bands are Canadian. I haven’t seen The Blue Stones live, but Black Holes do continue the trend of good Canadian rock duo albums.

The Blue Stones‘ sound is similar to other duos I’ve listened to. It’s kind of bluesy, a little fuzzed out and a garage band aspect. Most of the songs on Black Holes go from smooth and clean to heavy and overdriven, like the album’s first full track The Drop. It’s mostly soft and mellow, but it’s chorus just completely breaks out and the guitars really start t shake your speakers. It’s these heavy parts where I really hear The Black Stones come out in their own element and I find them less comparable to other bands.

A few stand out tracks on Black Holes are the previously mentioned The Drop, the somewhat softer Lay, the melodic Black Holes (Solid Ground) as well as the track that I find to be the catchiest, Be My Fire. However, I find The Blue Stones don’t define this album by how good each individual song is rather than how well they all mesh together to make for a good listening experience. I wouldn’t say there are any two songs that sound alike on Black Hole. From the opening effect driven instrumental intro Airlock to the dazed sound of closing track Magic, no song sounds out of place.

Without doing any more comparisons to other band, Black Holes is a very good album from start to finish. It’s short (just under a half hour in total length) and I actually feel like The Blue Stones were capable of making another song or two which would have kept the momentum going, but I guess they’re saving it for whatever comes next. There are some signs of originality and many signs of musical intelligence that I think helps them out greatly and will continue to do so as they progress.

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ALBUM HIGHLIGHT

Be My Fire” –­ It takes The Blue Stones formula of going from soft to loud and makes the absolute most of it, with many memorable moments both with its mellow guitar riff and its energy when the volume raises.

 

FINAL RATING

7.5 (Out of 10)

 

Track List:

1. Airlock 0:56
2. The Drop 3:41
3. Black Holes (Solid Ground) 3:04
4. The Hard Part 3:42
5. Be My Fire 3:11
6. Lay 3:25
7. Little Brother 2:47
8. Midnight 3:46
9. Orbit 0:49
10. Magic 4:15
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