CD Review: Stone Diamond “Don’t Believe What You Think”

Back when the band Stone Diamond first formed, the Rock and Roll ensemble was a trio consisting of: Cy on vocals/bass, Josh on vocals/guitar and The Tongue on drums. Today, the band has expanded to a quartet and now consists of: Cy on bass, Pete on drums, Marc on guitar/vocals and Zaki on guitars/backings. And while the band went from the trio setting to a band consisting of four members, not much has changed as far as talent is concerned. Just like before, the Rock and Roll music created by the band is strong and very listener-friendly.  

It was back in 2013 that Stone Diamond released their debut album entitled We Stole the Stars from the Black Night. That particular album was so strong and was such a breath of fresh air as far as Rock and Roll was concerned that it made quite an impression on those who were lucky enough to have been exposed to it. They would then go on to add the album Phoenix to their discography. Now, five years after the release of the original album, the ensemble (now a little larger than before) returns with their third album. That album is entitled Don’t Believe What You Think.

The first track off of the Don’t Believe What You Think release from Stone Diamond is the track “Amy Van Dango”. The track takes the listener straight back into the eighties. The song features a Rock and Roll feel to the music that blends a lot of Soul elements into the music. It also seems to feature a generous amount of Hall and Oates feel to the music and the lyrics. This track would fit right in with any song on Top 40 Radio back in the eighties. But that doesn’t mean that it would be out of place on today’s radio. With all of the retro artists out there like Bruno Mars creating tracks like “24k Magic” currently blowing up commercial radio, there is plenty of room out there for Stone Diamond’s “Amy Van Dango”. And with this track as the first single, the band has begun to promote the Don’t Believe What You Think release. Of course, the single version of the song is much shorter than the original seven minute-plus album track.  

Stone Diamond’s newest release continues with the track “The Art of Breaking Hearts”. The track begins with a guitar riff that is rather reminiscent of something from Jimi Hendrix; especially if you consider that the riff sounds as if it had been inspired by Hendrix’s song “The Wind Cries Mary”. That Hendrix-inspired riff soon blends into a slow-paced track that features an easy pace to the music. The relaxed feel to “The Art of Breaking Hearts” adds a bit of emotional feeling to the track’s lyrics about a relationship that has its ups and downs. As the listener makes their way through the track, they notice a strong Classic Rock vibe that revolves around that Hendrix-inspired musical approach. While the track contains more than just the Hendrix influence, it’s hard to ignore that influence in the track.

On the very next track, the band dramatically changes the direction of the Rock and Roll that they create. While the first two tracks contain a Classic Rock approach, the song “Mine” finds the band blending together two different eras of music. In fact, the opening riff on the bass will remind listeners of something reminiscent of the bassline from “Come as You Are” from Nirvana. But the track also contains a feel that brings images of music from the sixties. The lyrical feel to the track especially conjures up visions of that time period. The blending of the two elements create a track that feels as much out of place with any time period as it reminds people of two different eras. A rather strange blend of styles creates a track that ends up feeling as out of place with today’s music as it also feels as if it belongs with today’s music.

While the next track continues the Classic Rock feel of the music on Don’t Believe What You Think, the new release from Stone Diamond, the song “1000 Suns” takes the band’s music in a direction that would feel right at home on any Power Rock radio format. As a matter of fact, “1000 Suns” brings the band’s music into the eighties with a sound that blends influences from Aerosmith and other such Rock and Roll bands together to form a track that would have been right at home on any Power Rock radio format back during the eighties. The track alternates between a strong Power Rock feel and a more laidback approach that would be closer to a power ballad than anything else. But the strong guitar riff that brings to mind something from the likes of someone like Joe Perry from Aerosmith keeps the track from getting too laidback.

With the track entitled “No Sleep,” Stone Diamond adds a bit of Country Music twang to their sound. While there is still plenty of Classic Rock feeling to the music on “No Sleep,” the slight twang in the music gives the band’s song more Americana flair to it than the rest of the tracks on the album. With the inclusion of the twang in the music, “No Sleep” feels as if it would fit right in with Country Music radio formats just as easily as Classic Rock formats. The song ends up being a perfect crossover track.

Stone Diamond returns to more of a straight-out Rock and Roll approach to their music on the next track of “Let’s Go”. With this track, the band creates music that has a musical feel that could have come from any of the last four decades. The undeniably timeless feel of the music as well as the simple lyrical content of the track helps to create a song that feels very timeless.

Just as the track “No Sleep” stands out because of the inclusion of a slight Country Music twang in the track’s musical content, the final track on the release also stands out…for very much the same reason. The song “Misty Eyes” finds a band that creates songs with a strong Classic Rock direction changing that direction for a very different feel to their music. Instead of that Classic Rock/Power Rock vibe, “Misty Eyes” finds Stone Diamond creating a track with a Pop-Rock approach. Like much of the music that can be found on the Don’t Believe What You Think release, “Misty Eyes” contains a sound and feel that would fit right in with much of the music that was around during the eighties.

The Don’t Believe What You Think release from Stone Diamond is a solid release from beginning to end. And with the inclusion of many different elements and influences, the Classic Rock from the band changes from one track to the next. For those music lovers who enjoy Classic Rock, Stone Diamond creates a release that will surely be something you’d want to experience first and then add to your own music library.

To experience a little of the music from Stone Diamond, check out the band’s current single of “Amy Van Dango”. 

To check the newest album from Stone Diamond entitled Don’t Believe What You Think, click on the album cover below: 

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