Self issued (label)
24 March 2014 (released)
18 March 2014
I like to find a band that busts genres, that refuses to adhere to the predictable and the ordinary. Brighton’s Stark are definitely one of those sitting somewhere in a Venn diagram that encompasses Blues, Prog, roots and Folk but isn’t bound by any one of them.
Jamie Francis vocals are strong, impassioned and heartfelt – definitely a touch of Geddy Lee about him – and he also pitches in with guitar, banjo and mandolin. Joshua Reynolds supplies a fluid and expressive bass while Evan Carson delivers subtle and understated drumming to the mix – definitely NOT a John Bonham soundalike and all the better for it.
So, to the music. The mix of styles makes the band almost indefinable. A track such as ‘Ghost’ leaves the listener with chills down the spine from a slow and emotive madrigal that brims with passion and dark fears, never letting the tension up until the voices give way to a guitar that has all the restrained psycho tenseness and skitters across the mind’s eye like a, well, ghost.
Opener ‘Let’s Fall Down Together’ has the feel and tone of an acoustic Rush while the production takes the listener up and down with the band.
‘Killing Floor’ has the feel of an old Blues set to a rock theme with another superb vocal from Jamie and the EP closes with ‘Ball and Chain’ – a Blues belter with a decidedly original tone.
One of the most original bands I have heard in a long while and destined for great things I think.