Stone Soul Foundation turns out the kind of hard rock that made me pledge my allegiance to the Guys in Black Tee Shirts Who Jam. This New York-based four piece makes crunchy blues-based jams that evoke Black Sabbath, black light posters, and bell bottoms.
It’s a welcome change from the ever more granular genres of metal. I swear we’re about a year from Bobcore, that flavor of metal so exclusive that it only appeals to some dude named Bob.
That ain’t SSF. These guys are all-inclusive, provided you have a head to bang. They got the boogie and the riffs to rattle the windows of your primer gray Camaro. Check out lead-off track “Sidewalker:”
Lead singer Sean Muldoon has one of those classic rock voices: strong, raspy, dirty. When he spits “you sidewalkin’ snake / you backstabbin’ fake” I want to get the hell out of his way.
My favorite cut is “Christian,” a Sabbath-tinged cut about religious hypocrites. Jeff Wiggins really gets to cut loose on this one, wah-wah peddle crying away. I think I even hear a little nod to Uncle Ted’s “Stranglehold” in there:
Like the best heavy bands, these guys aren’t without a sense of humor. “Song About You” is what the Gunners’ “Get in the Ring” should’ve been: A dark, funny revenge cut. “Why do you insist on being you, why? Why do you do those things you do? Please die.” Not exactly Pope Francis material, but then again Frank doesn’t rock hard.
The entire set is solid, with only “Window” providing a break in the pace. The cut would be right at home on Temple of the Dog’s eponymous album:
Doug Paradise (bass) and Shane Stillman (drums) make up the solid rhythm section underpinning the band, and Alex Perialas fills the producer chair. You might not be familiar with the name, but Perialas has worked with bands like Anthrax, Testament, and Bad Religion. That’s quite a C.V.
You can pick up Electric Valley and follow Stone Soul Foundation on their website. I guarantee it will be in your power rotation as soon as you load it up.