Album Review: Stone Mary - "Hell Bound Gypsy Train"

By Ian Kean
If you took a little Led Zeppelin , A little Heart , a little Joan Jet and a lot of The Black Crows you would end up with Halifax , Nova Scotia hard rockin' bar blues band "Stone Mary". Their debut full length album "Hell Bound Gypsy Train" is packed full of catchy riffs , tasty licks, face melting solos ,pitch perfect vocals and a rhythm section that could make a metronome sound sloppy.I can honestly say when you combine all of these things that make them a fantastic rock band with the high end production valve of this record ,that "Hell Bound Gypsy Train" is probably the most professional sounding local record I've ever heard (and I've heard a lot). With this record "Stone Mary" give the Blues a reason to be happy.

As a live band "Stone Mary" have never failed to be anything short of amazing each and every time i had the pleasure to see them and have managed to translate the live energy very well on to this debut record with song after song of hard hitting but very catchy Rock and Roll. This is the kinda stuff I'm surprised you don't hear every time you turn on the radio and I firmly believe that tracks Like "Rock Bottom' And "Aint No Lady" would stand up fine among any classic or new rock playlist.

Although "Stone Mary" has released the perfect radio ready album it should be noted there is not much else on this record the strays from that radio blues sound or song structure,and anyone looking to find an original sound or ground breaking song writing is not going to find it on this record. What you will find is a band that doesn't necessarily take a lot of chances artistically and stick very much so to what they know has worked for them in the past and will continue to work for them in the future. In some respects this is a smart plan of "if its not broke don't fix it " but any band that doesn't take chances runs the great risk of becoming repetitive and eventually boring by never really achieving an unpredictable or dangerous edge, which to me is the very essence of what separates good rock and roll from great rock and roll.

"Stone Mary" are a fantastic live band with a super tight and polished radio sound that will kick your ass and get stuck in your head, who now have a great debut record "Hell Bound Gypsy Train" under their belts. All of which has and will continue to make them a Maritime hard rock powerhouse and if they could break out of their "safe zone" and develop more of an edge, I see no reason why they wouldn't be able to attract some serious major label attention .



Anonymous said...

Oh yah, is that so?

Anonymous said...

There is no way this band is anything like the first 4 or 5 bands you've listed.
Here's an honest review!

noisography said...

To each their own...