Album Review : Silver Spoons & Broken Bones - Stone Gods*****
For Fans Of - Classic Rock, The Darkness, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy
From out of the ruins of The Darkness comes forth Stone Gods, the wildly flamboyant frontman has gone (to rehab / up his own ego etc.) so the band might just have to rely on their music rather than their image, job done then because this is a cracking good rock album.
Kicking off with the 70's gumby styled Burn the Witch, a solid slab of retro rock with lyrics to match, Silver Spoons courses through 13 tracks of excellent heavy rock. This is not The Darkness with a different singer though, the music is heavier, perhaps enough so that people who thought that The Darkness were right at the deep end of their listening spectrum might not like this new incarnation, bu that seems to be what the band are aiming for. In interviews and press statements they have made clear their intention to break away from their earlier style.
Richie Edwards, who contributed backing vocals in addition to his bass duties with The Darkness, has stepped up to lead vocals for Stone Gods, his voice has a slightly raw and more powerful quality than Justin's, he probably can't handle the screaming and warbling, but he stamps his authority all over this album. From the heavier tracks like Defend Or Die through to the jingly, folky and beautiful Magdalen Street, Edwards handles the job well.
Dan Hawkins continues to show his guitar skills, applying his well honed craft so some nicely constructed songs on this album. First single Knight Of The Living Dead switches between light guitar work for the verses and a fuller sound over which rock fans are going to love chanting "Fuck you, you liar, you're not taking my life" over the top.
Lyrically, Silver Spoons displays more venom and vitriol whereas The Darkness tended towards melancholy and whimsy, but the boys playful side can still be heard on the splendidly daft ode to cheap package holidays Don't Drink The Water and their rant against British licensing laws in Oh Where 'O My Beero.
To be realistic you would have to say that Stone Gods probably won't achieve the glory that The Darkness had, I can't see a run of 6 Top 20 singles from this album. there is a lot to be said for having a media magnet for your frontman, just ask Queen.
Silver Spoons is a strong and accomplished album from a fine group of musicians, it might have a bit of a retro rock sound, but we all still listen to Def Leppard and Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin because they wrote good songs, could play a great riff and put big grins on our faces, so give Stone Gods a listen, because I think they can do just the same.