Sean Roberts & Mark Kaeppel are the duo that make up StoneLucky. They have said that their release Like Sandpaper on a Pearl is influenced from the ‘60s and ‘70s and I can confirm that’s a true statement. There are a lot of different ways they approach songs from full out rockers to lighter acoustic ballads. Some of it worked better than others but more on that later.
I’ll say that it took some time to warm up to the lead vocals. There were some songs where I felt his style worked really well. The more lush, light delivery on “Hangin’ On” sounded better to my ears then to the more aggressive Mick Jagger style he touts on “Girl Alone.”
Things start off with “You Didn’t Know” and the music reminded of some of John Lennon's solo material. It’s a catchy song all around. The piano melody is simple and pretty much just supports the lead vocal. I also thought the guitar solo was nice even it seemed to go on a tad too long.
The second song “Hangin’ On” is a highlight. It’s very lush almost on the verge of shoegaze, which may have been unintentional. The vocal melody is infectious while the guitar is atmospheric. “Reckless” is another solid song but certainly an overt vibe that felt a little too similar to The Beatles while “Dear You Dear Me” is an acoustic ballad reminiscent of Pink Floyd.
Another highlight was the dense sounding “Wrecking Of a Life.” The music on this song is atmospheric and ethereal and that sounds good on the band. That being said the song still feels like it has energy and moves forward. As the album progresses there were a couple more highlights. “Inside Out” was a good one and definitely had a tinge of early Primal Scream and The Stone Roses. I’ll take that. Other songs like “Oh Tequila” seemed a bit silly.
Like Sandpaper on a Pearl is far from perfect and it feels as if Roberts and Kaeppel wear their influences on their sleeves. Nonetheless there is a good amount to enjoy here and I can say the good outweighs the marginal.
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