mike davies column may 2018


Marking their debut on Ignition Records after two albums via Columbia, Worcester’s PEACE roll out the slogan machine for the Simone Felice-produced Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll, opening with the recent call to arms single“Wake up and smell the lavender”), Power, and continuing in much the same vein with swirly clouds of guitars and keyboards, melodic hooks and more than a touch of early 70s influences, the title track in particular calling to mind Mott The Hoople. The songs call for empathy is mirrored in several tracks that touch, overtly or more subtly on themes of mental illness or self-doubt, most especially From Under Liquid Glass, their single for mental health charity MQ, but also evident on Magnificent and the Beatles meets Snow Patrol Angels. But it’s always a sense of positivity that dominates, be that on the festival crowd anthemic ballad Silverlined, the poppily chugging glam stomp You Don’t Walk Away From Love or gradually swelling album closer Choose Love where frontman HarryKoisser declares “Any idiot could sing it in a song… so sing it.” One for your consideration, then.

Walsall’s hard rock outfit STONE BROKEN (Rich Moss, Chris Davis, Kieron Conroy and Robyn Haycock) celebrate their sell-out May 19 Birmingham gig with the release of new album, Ain’t Always Easy, a solid barrage of riffs tempered with a melodic thrust that heads out of the starting gate with the urgent Worth Fighting For before cutting to the steamrollering buzzsaw grind and melodic chorus of the addiction-themed Let Me See It All, with its air guitar friendly wah wah guitar solo in the final stretch.

stone b

Appropriately opening with a heartbeat drum rhythm before settling into a steady driving beat underpinned by more abrasive guitars, Heartbeat Away addresses domestic abuse and proves one of the standout cuts.

stone album

It’s not all muscle and spit, Home is the sort of soaring stadium ballad that Bon Jovi might have sung while I Believe brings a certain pop sensibility to its rock barrage and The Only Thing I Need delivers an anthemic closer. Indeed, the whole album is built on stadium-size aspirations reinforcing the overarching theme of self-belief and pursuing a dream, deftly embodied in the likes of The Other Side of Me and gradually swelling I Believe. Oozing confidence and catchy hooks and choruses, as ther triumph in winning Best Rock Act at the inaugural Birmingham Music Awards confirms, they could well be the kick up the arse a somewhat stagnant UK rock scene needs.

roots-and-branches.com 2020