For Fans Of
To be blunt – Stone Mason are pretty delightful. Their first EP, 4-track ‘Noise + Haste’ caters to the high-school/teenage-girl market. And I do mean that in a nice way. Hailing from the Gold Coast, even this manages to come through in their music – poppy, cute and ultra-trendy – as others have put it.
This EP is girly pop-rock at its best – it’s a mix of Miley, Avril and Hilary Duff, with minuscule traces of Paramore and Blink-182.
Though this mixture may not have been what they were aiming for, as they cite their influences from Blink-182, Block Party, The Beatles and Taking Back Sunday, their poppy sound will be their entry ticket into the mainstream music market.
It is hard to believe upon listening to this EP that the band is compiled of current and former students of All Saints Anglican School – sharing this with members of Operator Please. Their sound and lyrics shows a maturity and development that is not usually seen in musicians of this age, it is commendable to this band.
Overall, the EP comes across as a little ‘too’-produced. The quality of the production is infallible, and lead vocalist Phoebe’s voice is engaging and almost-beautiful, though dripping in sweetness in some areas. I am lead to wonder if she was really gifted with a voice like this, or if it could be a by-product of a little too much autotune.
Either way, this EP showcases the bands diversity from ballads to more pop-punk tunes – reminiscent of Evanescence.
The opening track ‘Stockholm Fashion’ is the perfect opener to the EP. Its light and melodic, though holds elements of pop and rock, derivative of early Paramore. Though, it is the closing track that is the most impressive on this EP. ‘Two Thousand and Nine’ is the quintessential pop-rock ballad. Its perfectly paced and thought-out and Phoebes vocals sound remarkably and impressively similar to Hayley Williams in other Paramore ballads. Its soft, melodic piano-backing is beautiful in its nature, and its carefully composed lyrics match that.
Though the middle tracks seem to be a little lost, and they seem to be channeling a faster pop-punk sound a little too much, it is the opening and closing tracks that make this EP.
‘Stand Straight, Straight Face’ is a light mix of Demi Lovato and a watered-down Paramore. Whilst, ‘For the Kings or Hypocrisy’ is a little lost in direction and lyrics.
I can say with sincerity that Stone Mason will be a force to be reckoned with in a few years, once they enter the mainstream music scene. Their ability to mix poppy-mainstream music and mature musicianship will definitely help them in the future.
1. Stockholm Fashion – 2.38
2. For the Kings or Hypocrisy – 2.28
3. Stand Straight, Straight Face – 2.30
4. Out, Damned Spots – 3.08
5. Two Thousand and Nine – 3.58