“Repose En Paix” – even my limited grasp of French tells me – translates as “Rest In Peace” and not for nothing does the song have what amounts to pride of place on this EP.
A personal one for Stand Alone singer Gavin Stevenson, it was written days after the terrible attacks on The Bataclan in 2015.
The story goes that the Yorkshireman had been at a gig on that night, and it is a story that resonated with me too. I can vividly remember being at a Faster Pussycat concert that evening when the news broke. It was a genuinely horrible feeling (especially that one of my mates had been to see Eagles Of Death Metal a week before in Birmingham) it could have been us.
It wasn’t, and the defiance in the song is important.
That song is perhaps the best here, but that is by no means certain given the skill in the rest of them. “Save You” is proof that all the best arena rock sounds a bit like Nickelback (deal with it, haters). A little closer to home, there is a touch of Stone Broken about this, but Stand Alone do things in their own way. Harmonies reminiscent of the mighty Zico Chain, a breakdown you aren’t expecting, and this melting pot approach is evident in the other songs too.
There is something a little bit dirty, a bit sleazy maybe about “Never Stand Alone” which merrily proves that the hook in the opener was no fluke, and that these boys can’t half write a chorus.
But the beauty of Stand Alone, is that if you think you’ve got them pegged you probably haven’t. The epic “616” (which was the first number of the beast, as it were) is their comment on the world. “Jesus, what the hell you thinking of”? is a plaintive line, while the presence of guitar wizard Dave Brons gives this a real tech feel and the harmonies here have a touch of Tesseract about them.
It all adds up to a journey that most certainly doesn’t end where it started and doesn’t go where you think it is going to. “Falling, Faster” is though, an EP that will ensure Stand Alone aren’t waiting on the fringes for too much longer.