(Exception to the Rule)
Sublime, Peter Tosh, 311
We all know there is an abundance of alternative reggae, rock bands out there today and we are always keeping an eye out for some fresh talent that can shake up this genre. Unfortunately Stone Senses is not one of them. From Carlsbad, California, this six-piece band has shared the stage with some big names, The Wailers and The Dirty Heads for example, so we wanted to see what they were about. For the most part, the music isn’t actually that bad, except for many lead guitar spots. It has the typical soft, happy bouncy rhythm that reggae is known for, nothing original. We weren’t even looking for this to be original, just a nice album to hang out to in the hot summer days. Well, after a few months of listening to their catalog, we decided that we will not be breaking out the album this summer.
Just a brief description is all that is needed to get the across our take of Exception to the Rule. We start things off with "When You Were Wrong," and it’s actually a nice beginning, the music is chill and has potential. When the singing was introduced, we thought, eh, it’s ok, and we pressed on. The vocals are nothing to write home about, they are standard with no range at all. As the song continues, it just goes nowhere, even when it picks up speed, the lead guitar just sounds weak and there is no need for a solo here and it takes you out of that beach, summer vibe. Track two offers nothing more, just hit the skip button. On "Good Day (To Start A Riot)," they try to infuse some 311 rock into the mix and it just doesn’t work while on "Hometown" the song could be good, but they insist on throwing in some more solos that just sound flat. The beginning of "Tuff Guy" is so out of place and the lyrics are just weak, and yes even worse guitar solos, this will be that last time we mention the lead guitars, as you can see that it’s a common theme throughout the album. "Johnny B. Goode" is just unlistenable, we don’t ever want to hear a song with the name Johnny in it ever again. Finally, we get something we are into with "Like I Told You," this song is not bad, they throw in a horn section, it’s a nice touch, if only they could harness this sound. Now on "I’m Calling," they mix it up with some ska music, but it’s weak and the last two tracks, "Your House" and "Open Mind" offer nothing more.
Expectations to the Rule doesn’t offer much in terms of variety and is rather bland for a reggae rock album. We feel there is so much more out there to explore, so for the time being we’ll just set this one aside and continue our search for that next obscure break-out reggae album. - 5/6/2014
Standout Tracks: Like I Told You