REVIEW: The Stone Gods – Silver Spoons & Broken Bones (2008)

THE STONE GODS – Silver Spoons & Broken Bones (2008)

…and from the ashes of the beast came The Stone Gods, and they did lay waste to the land.

The “beast” from whose ashes that the Gods rose was The Darkness, an extremely talented band who were looked upon (either fairly or unfairly, you decide) as a novelty act. They split into two camps with singer Justin Hawkins forming the very Darkness-sounding Hot Leg. The rest of the band (guitarist and brother Dan Hawkins, drummer Ed Graham, and bassist Richie Edwards) stuck it out and renamed themselves The Stone Gods. Edwards, a fine singer in his own right, dropped the bass and became the frontman. New member Toby MacFarlaine was brought in on bass.

What makes this band special is twofold. First, there is the undeniable writing talents of Dan and the band, proving that Justin was not the be-all and end-all of the Darkness. Two is the voice of Richie Edwards. He truly has his own unique voice, something unusual in today’s soundalike music scene. It is part Bon Scott, part Halford, with a little bit of early raspy Joe Elliot thrown in, and 100% awesome. As a frontman, he was no Justin, but who is?

The band themselves stuck solidly to a heavy metal direction. Ed Graham plays his trademark caveman drum fills and it fits like a glove. Dan’s guitar howls and shrieks like a thing possessed. Above it all, Richie wails. These are heavy metal songs. You won’t mistake that right from the opening metal riffage of “Burn The Witch”. And you can’t mistake these lyrics for anything but pure rock.

My friends have all joined the rat race
It’s all suits, shirts and novelty ties
I’m not a fan of retirement plans
I refuse to change my way of life

Just about every song here is a winner, very few losers. It is important to note, however, that the album takes a turn for the lighter around the halfway point. Indeed, the first three songs are a pure metal bludgeon, after that, some more early-Def Leppard moments are thrown in (“Making It Hard”). However it is never out of place, never too soft, never embarrassing  It is simply a good, well rounded rock album with light and shade.

It’s great that The Darkness are back together, and I rated Hot Cakes very highly.  I do miss these guys though.  A second album would have been something.

4.5/5stars

9 comments

      1. That first video’s riff is killer. What a heavy song! The second… not so much. But that’s OK, you gave a wide representation of their sound, right? Of course you did, this is LeBrain we are talking about. I liked it! The Dude’s vocals are a little put on, but that’s OK. A lot of people were doing that over the last, oh, twenty-five years. I like, at least, that’s he’s not even trying to be Hawkins. ‘Cos that guy was insane.

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  1. Sorry, a bit late to the party but hey! I really like this LP, especially ‘Start of Something’ (but I’m a big sap) I saw them live supporting Airborne and they were absolutely brilliant, better than the headliners; Richey was an excellent front man. I’m sorry that the Darkness got back together in some ways.

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  2. Sorry – I just sort of repeated myself on your new darkness post – at least it shows (along with the fact I clearly have short-term memory probs) that I mean it!

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  3. So they lost Justin Hawkins, changed the name and became awesome! The Darkness were – and still are – a joke to me. I can’t stand their songs and Hawkins just annoys me.
    But this album is a killer, not a bad song on it and it is such a shame that the reunited The Lameness instead of keeping this beast alive.
    I still hope that a second album will be made at some point.

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    1. I understand the jokey feeling about the Darkness. I too questioned that.

      I would love this band to continue as a side project of some kind. That could have been awesome. Still love this album, today.

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