Record Label Special: Small Stone Recordings

Hi loyal readers, and thanks for checking back in to Three Paper Reviews.

I just wanted to give you a quick heads up about a great little record label based in Detroit, USA called Small Stone Recordings, which specialise in heavy, retro-tinged riff rock.

I’ll begin by talking you through a few of their new releases.  These aren’t full reviews, so I’ll spare you the pomp and wankery of my ‘ratings table’.

Sasquatch - III

Sasquatch, III: – The heaviest of the three.  There’s definitely some Monster Magnet in it, most noticeably in the Spacelord-esque acoustic sound that kicks off New Disguise.  It’s beautifully mixed – heavy without going overboard on the fuzz – and there’s a nice balance between the musicians, with the excellent vocal performance prominent in the mix.  There’s a pulsating quality to the guitar sound that gives the riffs some real swing, with enough guts to drive the point home.  They do introspective well too – check out Pull Me Under if you’d like an example.  Great for those who pine for the glory days of stoner rock, or just looking for something heavy they can rock out to.  Play it loud – you’ll be hooked from the opening riff.

The Brought Low - Third Record

The Brought Low, Third Record: – The cruisiest of the three.  Pick any big blues-influenced rock band from the 60s or 70s – The Who, Cream, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Cheer – go on, you pick some!  Chances are you’ll hear an influence here.   But it’s a decidedly modern take on these old gems, and blended in such a way that it’s hard to pin a specific influence to any particular song.  Their MySpace page also cites Aussie gems like Radio Birdman and The Saints, so we can take some of the credit for this fine blend.  The Brought Low are never rushed, and are just as happy sitting a song on its arse as they are rocking out.  It’s not all fuzz either, with clear instruments and plenty of space.  This is a confident, assured release that’s great to strut around to.  Quality.

Skånska Mord - The Last Supper

Skånska Mord, The Last Supper: – The bluesiest of the three.  Heavy blues, but blues nonetheless.  These dudes hail from the tiny village of Örkelljunga in southern Sweden, and have been rocking out in various bands for years.  The songs are generally mid-tempo stompers, and there is some lovely solo work on the guitar scattered throughout.  Some of the vocals reminded me of early Chris Cornell – yes, his range is almost that good.  Definitely worth a listen.

So get along to the web site and check out these bands (clicking on the ‘Tunes’ icon on the home page is a good start).  Get to the online shop and order one or two of the albums above, grab a copy of a couple from the back catalogue (I can recommend Through the Eyes of Heathens by Dozer and It’s Not the Heat it’s the Humanity by Puny Human), and most importantly, make sure you order the new Solace CD, which will be reviewed on this blog soon.

Then sit back and wait for the postman…

– Hazizi

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