Wicked Stone were a great find a couple of years back and it’s great to see them getting some traction and seeing their name pop up ever-more regularly on festival line-ups and support slots. So, a couple of years down the line, they’re here to offer us some more music and show us what Wicked Stone sound like in 2019.
Musically, they’ve not changed in the slightest. And honestly, that’s perfect. Much like greats like Motörhead or AC/DC, they knew what they were immediately and stuck to it. However, they’ve still managed to find some growth in themselves. They’re now more raw and in-your-face, displaying more power than ever before. Indeed, opening salvo “Couldn’t Take Anymore” is borderline feral.
Devil in Me offers up a handful of tracks which pick up where Ain’t No Rest left off. Thoroughly modern whilst giving some obvious nods to classic names, it epitomises what’s great about the UK’s modern hard rock scene right now. Riffs fly thick and fast as the afore-mentioned opening track and “Keep Fighting” could have come from a Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and Conspirators album. Elsewhere, “Saviour” has vocalist Joe Hawx attacking his vocals akin to Kennedy while the juxtaposition of the more groove-laden chugging riff on the track prevents it from becoming a full-on Conspirators homage.
Meanwhile, “Unchained” shows that whilst the band still aren’t dealing in ballads, they still know when to slow the pace down half a step. Taking things in a more melodic slant, there’s still plenty of room for a big, chunky riff. However, it’s the closing, and title, track of the EP which summarises the EP and indeed, Wicked Stone. It’s everything that you’d expect from them, distilled into one number. Gritty, hard-hitting, fist-pumping, chock-full of riffs and grooves, it’s a perfect closing statement.
Devil in Me presents Wicked Stone as a more mature band, both sonically and lyrically. Presenting themselves in this new, leaner version, there’s a fresh urgency to them. The rawness suits them. It’s almost as if they’ve come of age and having settled into who they are, now they’re pushing that limit.
Header image by Jason Dodd
Devil in Me is out now