A formula for making Stone From the Sky: put your hand on the dial that says “Camel” and then slow it way down. OK, you went too far and now you’ve made Earth. Bring it back up a notch, just a little bit. Wait, whoa, you went too far and now we have Cambrian Explosion. Slow it down again just a tiny bit and there we go! Stone From the Sky are like stoner rock that’s passed out in a field of post rock poppies, intoxicating delays doing some very weird things to its perceptions of timing, tone, and delivery. Their album, aptly named Fuck the Sun, is all rolling hills and wide meadows, a sojourn in the diffused light of some other source of illumination.
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The opening track to this album, once that lengthy, almost drone intro fades into the meat of it, is a resplendent example of what Stone From the Sky are all about. The bass gives the main feeling of drawl to the arrangement, accompanied by the synths in setting the stage for elongated phrases expressed on the guitar. The tones themselves are drawn straight from the 70’s, bright trebles and overdrives on the edges of chords syncing beautifully with the accentuated cymbals and hi-hat. The beauty is that you never get the feeling that Stone From the Sky have just run out of something to say and are thus taking their time before uttering another thought; on the contrary, the feeling one gets is of a charged soliloquy, a prolonged statement of purpose and atmosphere.
Elsewhere on the album, like on the following “Hunters Must Be Hunted” or further down the line on “Welcome to Trantor”, these ideas are mixed with more high-speed stoner rock sensibilities, evoking the aforementioned Camel and even Clutch at points. These more kicking segments (also featured at the end of the opening track) are welcome additions to the formula, doing much to clear the air after the heady approaches of the slower elements. This interesting and well executed contrast makes sure that Stone From the Sky are more than just background music. They can hold your attention in highs and lows, setting them apart in the stoner rock milieu of which we’ve had some criticism in the past. ‘
Thus, all the way from France, we get a band that’s able to more than emulate a style that’s become synonymous with the American South/Southwest and inject much needed restraint to its basic formula. Instead of going for thicker and thicker riffs to create interest, Stone From the Sky are able to do the same with light touches and more intricate structures, blending the wave-like crawl of stoner rock with ethereal melodies harnessed from post rock’s toolkit. This makes Fuck the Sun a breath of fresh air and well suited for many purposes; whether you’re looking for groove filled sections or more laid out ambiance, this album has what you need.
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