I’ve been a long time fan of Stonefield – four sisters from Victoria’s Macedon Ranges – ever since I was first completely captivated by Through the Clover. I was even fortunate enough to do a bit of a Q&A with the bands keyboardist and backing vocalist, Sarah Findlay, for 100 Percent Rock Magazine a few years back…
Now, here we are in 2019, and Stonefield have just released their latest effort, and fourth full length album, Bent. What we have in Bent, is an album by a band who have grown, developed, and built upon what was already a very mature sound, unmistakably influenced by 70’s rock.
Sleep opens up the album, and it is a Sabbath-esque, riff driven beast. Lead vocalist and drummer, Amy Findlay demonstrates her soulful and equally powerful voice throughout – not just this track, but the album as a whole.
Dog Eat Dog is driven by some fantastic keyboards – Jon Lord would be proud, while Dead Alive is an energetic, psychedelic affair. It makes great use of simple effects, and has legitimate single potential.
People is straight out of the 70’s, which might be a little lazy to say, considering the majority of this material fits that description, but it’s never more evident than here. Route 29 on the other hand, has a certain 80’s vibe to it – there are elements at play that have a lot in common with disco – you could easily dance to this track (I’m definitely no dancer, but YOU could dance to it…)
66 is funky and spacey. Almost completely instrumental, save for some great vocal harmonies later on. If I Die is a slower, almost psychedelic tune – just listen and drift away into a trance like state. Dignity a short, but welcome instrumental piece, atmospheric in nature, and a well placed lead in to Shutdown, which may just be the highlight of this record for me, as it wanders through all of the elements that make Stonefield particularly appealing to me.
Woman has a certain stoner rock vibe, colourful synths are front and centre, but that underlying guitar riff is chunky and hard to ignore. It wouldn’t be out of place on a Sabbath Record.
Overall, Bent is a wonderful listen – particularly for fans of Sabbath, Deep Purple and Rainbow. It’s excellently crafted rock music, with a strong 70’s influence.
Review by Shayne McGowan