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Screamer Magazine - STONE SENATE – Dawn – Album Review

Writers and publicists like to assign categories to bands to give the listener an idea of what to expect. While it’s a habit that’s difficult to resist, doing so serves a purpose in allowing a listener to filter genres that may or not be of interest to them. The hazard is that is sometimes those categories don’t really fit the music.

Stone Senate is a five-piece band based in Nashville, and their sound has been described as Southern rock or country rock. Although their style does contain elements of those two genres and Nashville is a hub for that brand of music, Stone Senate actually plays very finely crafted, broad-based melodic rock songs that will appeal to a wide spectrum of listeners.

The opening track to their EP Dawn starts with Dead and the Dying, which begins with a bluesy acoustic slide guitar riff that yes, does cry Southern rock, but quickly fades as heavy electric guitar chords begin. “Daylight never comes in this room where I’ve been…” wails lead vocalist/guitarist Clint Woolsey, backed by guitarists James Edwards and Ted Hennington. The rhythm section consists of brothers Paul Zettler on bass and drummer David Zettler.

Fall Back Into You is a good example of why bands shouldn’t be labeled. This song is a hard rocker that’s doesn’t fit (or need to fit) a specific, pre-determined genre. That said, the following track, Good to Go is an acoustic finger-picked guitar and vocal harmony driven song with twin guitar leads that definitely evokes Allman Brothers comparisons.

Days has almost a grunge feel to it, with the classic soft verse/heavy chorus pattern. Shine is another heavy rocker. Always Never Fades is the final, and featured track to Dawn that is a power ballad-type hard rock song. So don’t be mislead by labels…let your ears, not your eyes be the guide.



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