REVIEW: STONE ANGELS – Give In To Temptation (2015)

Brighton classic rockers get their heads down, plug in, and play some classic rock

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But what about a rock n roll record? Well they are different, aren’t they?

How many people can share the experience of MVM when shopping for tapes as kids, where you went in (and these are pre-Internet days) and made your purchase based on the fact the album had that red and white Atlantic spine, or that your mate shouted across the record shop “‘ere these look like you might like ’em…..”?

Maybe Brighton’s Stone Angels can relate to that (or maybe they aren’t quite as old as MVM) either way, look at the sleeve for “Give In To Temptation” that accompanies this review. The neon Triple X, the skull’s the words. The implication is, step into this world and it’ll just be fun….

And, that’s exactly what it is. “Give In To Temptation” is quite simply, well, simple. It’s nothing more than a very good hard rock album, one with the odd foray into other places, but largely, it’s exactly the type of collection that Stone Angels wanted it to be.

They call themselves “Whiskey Soaked” and that’s a good epithet to describe the mid paced and rather reflective “Thousand Years” which restrains its desire to rock just about in favour of something a little more epic, but “……Temptation” is at its absolute best when it’s being downright hedonistic. “Misplaced Memories” kicks things off, and does so in such a way as to imply that Stone Angels have zero intention of messing about. A chugging riff, a catchy chorus and an air of slight menace to the vocals of Niall Kersey, all adds up to a wonderfully strident opener.

It’s more than backed up by “Devil’s Child” which follows. Let’s be honest, if you call a song “Devils Child” it’s more or less got to sound a certain way. It’s got to have a swagger and a sass about it. This one does. And it sounds a little bit like “Soul Destruction” era The Almighty while it’s about its work, and that’s never been a bad thing. Ever.

When everything is in working order for Stone Angels – as on the single “Can You?” – the riffs get tossed about with something approaching abandon, while the slamming “Fantasy” sees Kersey opine that he wants to “get inside,” you probably don’t need to be a mastermind contestant to work out what he wants in on.

And that’s the point here. “……Temptation” joyously conforms to every hard rock stereotype, as it damn well should too, and when you can write a song as good “Don’t Believe The Lies” why shouldn’t you do just that?

The short, snappy and groove filled “Falling Down,” is the soundtrack to their nights out you’d guess, and the closing “Shadows Of The Black Sun” brings with it the order that “you’d better have fun.”

As these records always have to possess, there’s a couple of ballads here too. “Last Goodbyes” is the pick, although “Fine Day” showcases a real bombast that you weren’t hitherto sure that Stone Angels had.

This is a re-release of “Give In To Temptation.” In between sticking it out previously, Stone Angels have played anywhere and everywhere. That road work will surely pay off, because this time, the album deserves to break through.

Rating 8/10