Friday, March 22, 2013

Arc And Stones Debut A Brooklyn EP

Arc & Stones
Although Brooklyn-based alternative rockers Arc & Stones just recently came together last year, their new 5-track self-titled EP opens with plenty of promise even if it doesn't have a New York vibe. The music is alternative rock, with a Southern rock twist.

Some of these Southern influences come out of where three of them met. The band might have formed in New York, but it was only after Ben Cramer (guitar) called former college classmate Dan Pellarin (singer, rhythm guitar) to join him and Eddy Bayes (bass) in Brooklyn.

At the time, Pellarin was still in Florida, where the three had met at the University of Miami. He was trying to launch a solo career, something both Cramer and Bayes had tried to do in New York a year earlier. And this is an aspect of the band that is especially unique. They sound better playing together.

Arc & Stones is a Brooklyn upstart that deserves attention. 

The fourth member to join the band was drummer Joey Doino. The band found him on Craigslist, lightning that they have all said is unlikely to ever strike twice. It was part luck and part fate because the four immediately hit it off musically and personally.

The rest of the story, however, doesn't have much to do with either. Knowing they needed a demo that venues and labels could listen to, the band set out to record an EP capable of capturing five different aspects of their music. Once they knew what they wanted to record, they set out for Atlanta to work with Cramer's long-time friend Jeremy Griffith (Singing Serpent Studios).

The opener, Silence, is arguably the finest track on the album. It represents the band's most cohesive track, a mid-tempo healing after heartbreak rocker. Mostly it plays like a straight up rock song, with some melodic ballad elements that showcase all the members but Pellarin in particular.

Silence is followed up with Say Goodbye. It's a rock ballad, with a few more hooks and plenty of room for instrumentals. Cramer stands out in the track, but Doino's sticks establish an exquisitely crisp presence to his credit and some smart mixing. It's a good song that mostly holds up before becoming a bit muddled in its own climatic atmosphere. The end saves it.

Placing Let Me Down immediately after Say Goodbye might not have been the best choice. It mostly resembles Pellarin's solo work with some new maturity. Where it works is that it expresses his range. Where is doesn't work, for me, is that it soft pop sounds less like the band and more like a solo track.

Arc & Stones
She's Mine brings up the blues rock, which plays well to Cramer's influences. He grew up in the South, and says he has always been influenced by the richness of it. Anyone can make the case that Pellarin has the pipes to carry it. The better track, lyrically and cohesively, is Rise.

The fifth track, much like the first, stands out as a solid single that makes it feel like Arc & Stones was founded when the original trio met years ago and not a few months ago. The guitar work in Rise also stands out, putting it on par with Silence in terms of a well-crafted rock song.

Arc & Stones' Self-Titled EP Clears 6.1 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

In considering the entire album, Rise and Silence are the must-have tracks. But if you think this band has potential, then supporting them by purchasing the EP is a great investment. It helps new bands get things done and this one is anxious to start work on their full length.

Arc & Stones EP is available on Amazon. You can also download the EP or select tracks from iTunes. The band is currently booking additional shows in and around New York. Most recently, they had an opportunity to open for the classic rock band Kansas.
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