Stonefield – Bad Reality

A bad reality is a truly subjective thing. To some, it’s running out of milk in the morning, for others it’s all matter of nasty troubles. Stonefield do not try to offer social commentary or sage wisdom in their latest EP Bad Reality, but rather a rock record that will melt your face off!

Take the single Bad Reality. It’s a brief glimpse of someone yearning to escape and see the world and yes, Stonefield don’t attempt to delve too deeply into this motif. Most listeners won’t care, though, when the bassline kicks in and drives the song forward like a supercharged Mustang while a keyboard rings in their ears like a demonic railroad crossing. The Findlay women certainly know how to rock out in the style of old, and Richie Blackmore and Co would no doubt be impressed by Stonefield’s offerings.

In that vein, the keyboard/guitar riff on Out of My Shadow snakes through key signatures and sounds appropriately ripped from the 1970s. It would have been nice to see a bit more nuance to the vocal delivery throughout the song – and indeed the album – as the lead vocals never settle below a dull roar. That said, one area where lead vocalist (and drummer) Amy Findlay has not lost her touch is her absolutely epic ability to growl and scream. It’s a damn near perfect delivery for this kind of music, and does the job sufficiently.

To Stonefield’s credit, the rest of the album works exceptionally well as a whole, with each track moving nicely into the next. Ruby Skies lets the vocals sit center stage in a song about a fire blazing across the night sky while a few helplessly look on. Not long after, Who Are You – a track all about living hard and living fast – brings guitars back into the fray with a smashing riff accompanying a ballistic drum section.

Strangely, the best songs on this EP come in the form of bonus tracks. Most fans have already heard Black Water Rising, and it doesn’t disappoint as one of Stonefield’s most accomplished songs to date. Interestingly, the band seem to have cut one of the bridges from the final track – and it’s hard to say way. Then we’re treated to Yes Master, which drives the message of someone struggling with an infatuation threatening to cause some chaos. While lead guitarist Holly Findlay still has a ways to go before she’s on par with the likes of Young and Page, she has developed some truly ferocious guitar parts for this EP. Her best work to date can be found on this final track.