STONE BROKEN – AIN’T ALWAYS EASY – SPINEFARM RECORDS

By Kev Rowland

We all have guilty pleasures when it comes to music, that one band or album that we’re not really supposed to like if we are to maintain our credibility. Well, I’m not too sure about maintaining it, as I don’t think I’ve ever had any to begin with, but back in 2001 I was sent an album by Roadrunner to review which I still think contains a great many wonderful songs, yet “friends” have mocked me for still having it in my collection. The album is ‘Silver Side Up’, and of course, the band is Nickelback. With songs such as “Never Again” and “How You Remind Me” it has been a “go to” album for me, but until now I have never heard another band that has taken that formula of strong riffing guitars, pounding drums and one singer often being tracked by another, and hook after hook after hook. Well, I have now.

This is the second album from British quartet Stone Broken, and if they’re not taking that particular blueprint and very much making it their own, then I really don’t know what to say. The band was formed in 2013 by frontman Rich Moss with guitarist Chris Davis, bassist Kieron Conroy and long-time musical soulmate Robyn Haycock on drums, since when they have been creating quite a stir on the live circuit. With the release of this, I can only see their name getting bigger, as this really is one pounding radio-friendly metal/rock classic after another. There is a groove here that makes the body move, the head nod, and the mouth smile. I am sure that there will be some naysayers, but the last time I looked Nickelback had sold more than 50 million albums, so for all the guilty pleasures there are plenty of people out there who like them (even if they hide the CDs away from their mates). Punchy, powerful, dramatic, and damn fine, this is simply superb.

9/10

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