By Liz Belilovskaya
Sometimes it feels like there are not enough good rock tunes on the radio, which is why I’m pretty excited about Arc & Stones and their new EP, Rise. Their sound combines the rawness of The Black Keys, with the moxie of Jack White for a sound sound familiar enough to pique your curiosity without losing out on the originality front.
The album opens with Silence. Two lead-in guitars open the track with one controlling the tempo while the other sets up the melody. Lead vocalist Dan Pellarin who also handles rhythm guitar and keyboards, skillfully plays into the advancing sound. His voice is strong and assertive, fitting the track perfectly as he rails, “Silence is killing me, but your voice is telling me, go!”
Say Goodbye follows, taking the energy down a peg. The combo of piano and guitar at the start soon erupt in an overarching wave of sadness. The singer laments, “There’s just no way I’ll say goodbye,” even though his love interest seems to have already left him at the beginning of the song. Pellarin’s softer voice broadcasts his desperate sadness.
A conversational flow powers Let Me Down, as the vocals adopts a talking tenor that fully rides out the vowel pronunciation. Ben Cramer on lead guitar and backup vocals displays solid skill and dexterity, as he is capable of bringing the funk without overwhelming the singer.
She’s Mine picks up the pace with a quickened tempo and pleasantly cocky vocals signal the singers’ proprietary claim on the subject of this track, probably some hot chick. Arc & Stone, despite all being in their 20’s, seem to have a lot of experience with girls based on the content of their songs. The fast drumming, courtesy of Joe Doino, adds a nice edge.
A good beat leads into the title track Rise. The fast and hearty percussion is in perfect harmony with the guitars, with smooth, melodic vocals that melt over the track. It quickly picks up in intensity, in the vein of those signature bands of the late 90’s. There is a bit of a sinister component here, “You want it, need it, feel it, take it from me”.
Overall, Arc & Stones bang like Rock & Roll music should. Rise contains a good balance of mellow-yellow and super-bad tunes created by a rather talented and dynamic due. The band hails from Brooklyn, but their sound will take over the nation, that is, as soon as the nation finds out about these guys.
Out of 5
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