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The Stone Eye - South of the Sun

The Stone Eye
South of the Sun
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 15 September 2021, 6:30 AM

The United States always was (and still is) a boiling cauldron that enables many musical experiences into Rock tendencies, from the most usual to those that are weird to the ones that aren’t into what music can be. And sometimes, to deal with the non-usual, is truly hard. And “South of the Sun”, the latest release of the Philadelphia based quartet THE STONE EYE is really hard to deal, but it’s a delicious trial, indeed.

Their musical work could be compared to some experimental moments used by names as MASTODON, but with some greasy influences from ALICE IN CHAINS, RUSH, PINK FLOYD and many more. Sometimes it’s nasty and harsh, on others minimalist and experimental, so be prepared for the unexpected as the tracks are playing. But their music is really rich, with many very good melodic passages (as can be heard on “Witches & Raptures”), moments full of minimalistic technical arrangements, and many more features to be discovered. So dive into the disk, and enjoy the ride. To work with the quartet on the production could be a hard time, because to put everything they are up to into music isn’t as easy as one could think. But the things worked on a way that their music sounds primitive and nasty (due the organic feeling they demand), but in a way that could be defined and understandable. And things worked out!

For a first ride on their music, the better songs to be named are “Who’s There?” (a technical Grunge Rock song, with careful arrangements on bass guitar and guitars), “Halfway House” (that bears some greasy influences from Southern Rock mixed with the minimalism of RUSH in the 70’s, with a solid and careful work on bass guitar and drums), “Witches & Raptures” (an accessible song with catchy melodies and good vocals), “60/26” (the contrasts between introspective ‘noir’ moments with noisy parts is a very good feature, indeed), “South of the Sun” (a deep and melodic song that works in a similar way of a ballad, with very good vocals and drums), “Aleutian Summer” (another filthy nasty Rock song with hooking melodies), “Ethereal Visions” (another song with charming hooks and some very good elements from 70’s Psychedelic Rock), and “Gone Away” (where the minimalism comes back, mixed with Grunge Rock melodies). But the listeners can find others as they hear the album again and again.

THE STONE EYE isn’t a new band (“South of the Sun” is their sixth album), and it seems that they will really hook many fans that aren’t into the traditional forms of Rock. So give them a chance (or better saying, give yourself a chance), and listen to it carefully.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Who’s There?
2. Halfway House
3. Catatonia
4. Witches & Raptures
5. 60/26
6. South of the Sun
7. Aleutian Summer
8. Presence of the Mind (2021)
9. Ethereal Visions
10. Homage to Micah
11. Riots
12. Gone Away
13. Saylo
Stephen Burdick - Vocals, Guitars
Christian Mechem - Vocals, Guitars
Mike Pacca - Bass, Vocals
Jeremiah Bertin - Drums
Record Label: Eclipse Records


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