Friday, May 31, 2024

Stonedog And The Multi-Layered Rock EP ‘About Time’

The California-based alternative rock trio, Stonedog, has released their brand-new EP, ‘About Time’, which delves into the complexities of time through a dynamic exploration of various elements of rock.

Stonedog was formed by Trevor Childs (vocals, bass, and keys), Chris Dunn (guitar and vocals), and Gary Padilla (drums). The trio draws inspiration from iconic rock bands like Van Halen and Cheap Trick where they aim to honour classic rock while introducing a fresh perspective to the genre, captivating listeners and revitalising a timeless sound. 

Opening the EP is ‘Time Machine’ which reflects on past mistakes, living with regret, and moving forward, as conveyed in the contemplative lyrics “Let’s go in a time machine, and I’d tell myself not to be so mean…Cause you can’t turn back time…” The track begins with an isolated, jagged guitar that merges the confidence of Eddie Van Halen with the familiar electronic sound of The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’. It then bursts to life with a dominating drumbeat, strong bass, and gritty guitar that surges throughout.

‘Anastasia Anesthesia’ deals with coming to terms with a lost connection, and the time spent deeply contemplating and processing those emotions, as expressed in the lyrics “Where are you when I really need ya…”. Though lyrically ‘Anastasia Anesthesia’ is quite bleak, musically the song features a somewhat upbeat, groovy rhythm that gives it a funk-like style with the bass, this is contrasted by a strong alternative rock guitar riff and vocal harmonies from Childs and Dunn reminiscent of The Beach Boys. These elements merge effortlessly to create a captivating sound, showcasing Stonedog’s ability to explore various facets of the rock genre and craft something fresh and complex.

‘Matter Of Time’ explores the theme of change over time, reflecting on how things aren't the same as they once were and the bittersweet feelings accompanying this realisation. The song begins with a wave of distortion and a distant low-tuned guitar that gradually intensifies. It carries a sombre tone with subdued lyrics like “This used to be a city of art. Then they went and tore out its beating heart…Why, why do the good things die.” As ‘Matter Of Time’ progresses, the heavy distortion fades, and electric guitars surge in with an upbeat style, evoking a sense of Van Halen-like confidence once more.

In 'Fighting Words,' Stonedog skillfully employ repetition with the rolling guitar, manipulating the tempo throughout the track. The dominating drumbeat features a fast-paced rhythm, complemented by the growing intensity of the guitar work. Stonedog cleverly insert pauses in this intense surge with moments of heavy distortion to add to the track’s hard-hitting, adrenaline-fueled energy. 

In contrast, ‘Hourglass’ adopts a subdued demeanour, characterised by a slower tempo and stripped-back arrangement featuring heavy, low-tuned guitars. This creates a hazy, psychedelic effect, perfectly emphasising the track’s contemplation of the passage of time.

‘The Dread’ concludes ‘About Time’ with a slower tempo, repeating the psychedelic, hazy atmosphere with a robust foundation of instrumentals. It effectively captures the aftermath of intoxication, including blackout moments and the dreaded feeling that ensues, this is captured in the lyrics “The dread, the dread is in your head, The dread, the dread, after a couple drinks”. Stonedog enhances this mood with moments of twinkling guitar picking and skillfully manipulating the distortion and whammy bar, adding depth to the composition.

Stonedog have crafted an enthralling, experimental EP with ‘About Time’. Incorporating various key elements from different rock genres, each track paints a distinct narrative, ensuring that no two songs on this EP are alike. With every track, listeners can expect a refreshing and unique listening experience that sees Stonedog at the height of their creativity. 

Ana Joy King


Image: ‘About Time’ Official EP Cover

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