Last year The Stillroads released their debut self-titled EP The Stillroads. It was a solid introduction that displayed decent songwriting but needed some tweaking around the edges when it came to recording quality. The band is back with Are...HomeMade and they have made improvements in not just the recording quality but the songs as well. The album showcases a rock band that is starting to be more comfortable in their own skill and is cranking out some more formidable material.
The only issue I noticed with the EP that should have been resolved was within the mastering process and has to do with the overall volume of the tracks. There is a not so subtle difference in volume from the first to second track on their Bandcamp page. Besides this issue the mixing is better this time around. You can feel the kick drum, the vocals aren’t buried and the guitars have adequate mids.
The EP starts off “Kentucky Dir Jones,” which is a clear highlight. It’s a fantastic mesh of punk rock, classic rock (think Rolling Stones) and enough originality to make you take notice. The song has a swing that is undeniably fun to listen to and on top of that the vocal delivery is loose and feels natural. As the song progresses it just gets better when the horns are added. The sax adds a lot to the song and becomes one of the most integral components.
“Black Bandana” isn’t quite up to par with the opening track but nonetheless has a “Freebird” like guitar solo that is a blast to listen to. “Budding Conversation” is a melodic rock song that has some resemblance to the Beatles. It sounded a bit like “Come Together” meets “Revolution”.” They definitely got a similar guitar tone going on. They close with a poppy song that is bound to get stuck in your head entitled “Cruella Deville.”
Overall, the band has improved but I don't think they have reached their apex. “Kentucky Dir Jones” is the most accomplished song on this EP and if they can continue to build off the foundation of that I foresee good things to come.
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