Wicked Stone are a five-piece rock band from Kent and “Ain’t No Rest” represents their first full album which is due for release on 7 October. I was fortunate to be given an early copy of the album to listen to while lying on a beach in 40-degree Italian sunshine and it was just what I needed. If you like your rock with three guitars, strong riffs and simple lyrics then this will be right up your street, particularly if you follow good up and coming bands like Massive Wagons, Hollowstar, Trucker Diablo and Monster Truck.
The band consists of Joe Hawx on lead vocals, James Forrister on lead guitar, Ryan Stageman on rhythm guitars, James Amos on bass and Olly Smith on drums. Throughout all the tracks Joe provides strong vocals whilst James and Ryan are able to switch leads, blend together or support each other with good classic guitar led rock.
The album opens with the title track “Ain’t No Rest”. Whilst I personally didn’t think this was the strongest track to open with, it provides a good tip of what is to follow. A good gentle intro building into stronger combinations of guitars, drums and choruses as the track continues.
“One time” is more vocally led than the other tracks and Joe shows us the power he has in his voice.
“Another Round” is one of the two singles that have been previously released to high acclaim. Great riff throughout and I particularly love the part where the track stops and then continues with awesome instrumental combination of the three guitars in unison.
“Hit It and Quit It” opens with a great bass strum from James followed by a good strong riff through the remainder of the track. “Get In, Get Out” follows in a similar style with a brief but good slow battle of the guitars in the middle which does show they can tone it down a bit if they want. “Slide Baby” was blusier in its style and had a great catchy chorus, but mostly stuck in my mind for the lines; ‘I saw you walking to the cheap hotel, you had a bottle of whisky, I think it was Bells’
If you like fast guitar solos James shows you he is up to mark on “Rattlesnake”. I was expecting a slower track in “Sick In Love” but it was as strong as the other tracks. The riff was more complicated and showed the lads are extremely talented. The instrumental combination in the middle reminded me a little of early Iron Maiden guitars, but that might be showing my age too much.
“The End” is the other previously released single off the album and is my favourite. Good deep bass guitar and drum running throughout the track, and I can imagine the three guitars of James, James and Ryan rocking together in unison after the solo.
“Set Me On Fire” seals off the album in a similar trait as the majority of tracks, strong riff, strong simple lyrics and fast guitar solo. I do like the way it tails off at the end of the track signalling the end of the album.
I found the tracks quite similar and this will suit many fans. The lyrics are very simple and if you’re like me, and follow music for the music and not the words, then this will suit you. However, I would have personally liked to have heard at least one quieter more melodic piece with a slower lead guitar, but I accept this might be my own taste. I personally like a larger variety of styles in an album with a mixture of slower and faster guitars so I can listen to the same band whilst in different moods. I’m not always up for the fast guitars as I was when listening in sweltering heat on a beach, but it did mean I wasn’t able to doze off during any of the tracks which was probably a wise move. The boys are good so I am sure they have it in them to do this if they want to on their second album which I’m already looking forward to.
I can see why this band are so well liked and followed locally. Their tracks are built to be played live in front of fans with the heavy guitar sound throughout all songs. The album launch in Folkestone on 7 October will be a great night. Tickets are still available from HERE and everyone attending will be given a copy of the album so it’s a good date for your diary if you can make it. I will certainly be continuing to listen to this album and will be looking out to catch them live near me in the future.
All in all, Wicked Stone are a great band and if you like your rock with loud, strong, guitar riffs then this is a good album to get to add to your collection.