10 Aug 2022
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Stonehurst - Gig Review: Stonehurst @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 09/07/2021

11 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Friday night saw me yet again in central Auckland for a gig, this time to catch Stonehurst and Elidi who were both up from Christchurch, my neck of the woods. I had been looking forward to this for months, ever since I reviewed the last single by Elidi, Witches Brew. It was only when checking the tour poster to confirm times that I realized another band had been added to the mix, White Nøise Mafia, which meant I knew tonight was going to be even more fun. The boys made a beeline for me when they saw me in the venue, thanking me yet again for all that www.muzic.net.nz has been doing for them, so I asked Matt H how they got the gig? It turned out that Stonehurst supported Alien Weaponry when they in Christchurch, and Matt had become mates with Tim, which is how it all came about. He then introduced me to Tim from Stonehurst and Jack Orr from Elidi and we were chatting away for ages (they were both extremely impressed that I was wearing a Bridge Burner shirt) until someone realized it was time for the show to start.

Perhaps rather unsurprisingly, White N øise Mafia were doing the same setlist as the previous week, and of course Lewis de Jong (Alien Weaponry) was leading the headbanging and mosh at the front, although during the course of the evening I also had long conversations with Riccardo Ball (Just One Fix) and Bryce Patten (Downfall of Humanity) - it is always great to see bands supporting each other. This was WNM’s first time playing at Whammy Bar, but if there were any nerves, they certainly didn’t show it and they were soon crunching into Medicate. I know Chris had some onstage problems last week, wasn’t able to hear himself properly and compensated by straining his vocals and pushing too hard, but tonight he was more relaxed and pushing the crowd as always. While he and Matt Sansome are the epitome of cool, Matt S and Neo are metal monsters – hair everywhere and really into the music. I noticed Neo drop a stick at one point as he was blasting so hard into the kit – it was only afterwards that he told me he dropped six that night with it all being so intense. These guys are full on from the beginning, but somehow, they always know how to get the crowd even more amped up and tonight that was with Attack, halfway through the set when the mosh pit became even more frenetic due to the high-octane metal being directed their way. The new single, The Divide, was sandwiched between the two covers of Linkin Park's Bleed It Out and Shihad's My Minds Sedate, and those three together really got the crowd going and all too soon it was over.

Elidi wasted no time at all in getting on the stage, and soon the quintet were creating an atmospheric soundscape which certainly made one realise that something very special was going to be coming our way. Then from that they cracked into Genesist and we were off. During the course of the set a few people said to me how much they were being reminded of Tool, and while that is true, I think it actually goes back further than that and, in many ways, they are using some of the same original influences of that band, as opposed to just them as a starting point. The music is often downtuned, with a deep bottom end, then complex vocals cutting through over the top. It felt very Seventies at time, with some obvious doom influences, but there is also a place for groove metal and the result is incredibly dramatic and powerful indeed. I noticed when re-reading my notes that I used the word “intense” a great deal when trying to capture the mood so that obviously made a huge impression on me. In some ways it felt that musically we were listening to three distinct sections, all combining to create something quite majestic. At the foundation we had drummer Steve Howden who was constantly changing the attack, and providing finesse which allowed him to cut into the music at the bottom end. At the top we had singer Dan Russell who was not only living and breathing the music in his every action and mannerism but was also providing some wonderful diverse and powerful vocals, and then in the middle we had guitarists Richie Jehan and Jack Orr (who also provided bv’s) with bassist Troy Cameron. They were creating a river of sound, different currents moving and flowing together, splashing against the edges and at others creating a riptide of emotion and power.

Even though they only have two guitarists I found there were times I was reminded of Spook The Horses, and when they launched into Witches Brew it was incredibly dramatic, powerful and progressive. The music had a spell on much of the audience, Dan obviously in its thrall and twisting and moving in a way that at times made me think of Fish or Pete Garrett. The dynamics within the music were providing contrast and space, allowing the band to get even heavier and then for the vocals to just rip even higher. This is music driven by the drums, providing a firm base for the guitars and bass to weave their spell and the vocals to add finesse. They finished their set, and I just wrote down SOAD, Meshuggah, Deftones, Karnivool, Tool, Graveyard, Sabbath, Spook The Horses, Black Widow, Blue Cheer. There is no way that should make sense, but it does, and I am so looking forward to catching up with these guys again.

The guys from Elidi and Stonehurst are great mates, sharing the same rehearsal space, with Jack Orr also working as Stonehurst’s sound engineer, so it made total sense for them to tour together, while musically it was a match made in heaven as they are complimentary while also being quite different. Stonehurst are a quartet, with Tim Hunt (vocals, rhythm guitar), David Hunt (bass), Rhyz Bell (lead guitar) and Jay Arthur (drums), and there was no messing about as they went straight for the jugular with Medicine. This is very heavy classic melodic rock, but with incredibly powerful vocals and a real sense of grit and honesty in what they are doing. It was also quite refreshing for many of their songs to feature guitar solos, and it was only when I was hearing them that I realised they appear to have dropped out of fashion with many bands these days. Songs like Whispers felt commercial, but always with that much harder, darker, and metallic edge, raw and vital. The riffs are crunched, everyone is giving their all, and the vocals are raw and filled with gravel. It is classic rock, but at the same time it is a force of nature, and there were times when we could even hear some blues at the base.

We had some Hammond organ sounds at times, which allowed the band to shift in yet another direction and Fall In A Hole felt dramatically different to what had gone before, with a wonderfully dated sound. But then we had Ultimate Shadows, which was very bass led, and showed just how many different styles they were putting into the mix, yet always keeping it real while also having that commercial base. At one point they even turned on some dirty funk blues groove which made me think of early ZZ Top, but nastier. Suffering Man was probably the highlight of the set, an incredibly powerful number with a great guitar solo, while all the guys were obviously having a real blast on the stage.

Yet another belting night on the local music scene. Who needs international bands?


Photo Credit: Kev Rowland

 

About Stonehurst

Rolling waves of fibrous sonic matter you can sink your teeth into.

Stonehurst as a musical entity, rose from the ashes of adolescent rock band Superhuman.

Stonehurst have been creating their sabbath-esque riff-filled, green-fuelled tracks since 2007. Since exploding onto Christchurch stages, Stonehurst have made a strong impact in the music scene throughout New Zealand. From achieving national FM radio status, to international and festivals slots, pushing their game to another level and living up to their reputation as one of NZ’s favourite upcoming heavy acts, Stonehurst’s fan-base continues to multiply and they have quickly turned into a legendary New Zealand Classic Rock act.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Stonehurst

Releases

Strange Urge
Year: 2017
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Oliver Birch - Album Review: Burning Daylight
05 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This is the debut album from Auckland musician, Oliver Birch, although older versions of many of the songs contained within have already been made available as singles. When the album started with the lengthy keyboard chords and feedback intro I thought it would fall into krautrock, but instead it quickly changed into a psychedelic experimental art rock number with emotionally charged vocals and an outright refusal to conform to any expectations.
Read More...
Album Review: Black Velvet Butterfly
03 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Black Velvet Butterfly are a one-man band from Auckland featuring James Castady-Kristament. I was intrigued to be sent this as when I looked on their Bandcamp page it said, “It may just well be the coolest thing you’ve heard in the Goth scene since Type O Negative.
Read More...
Bill Angus and the Mighty Ways - Album Review: All Night Before the World Began
01 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Bill had a musical career in England before deciding to do something different, and returned to his roots when he started working in New Zealand. This is his third album.
Read More...
Gig Review: Antagonist A.D. @ Galatos, Auckland - 30/07/2022
31 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Once more into the breach dear friends, as I made my way into the city for the third night in a row. I knew this was going to be the most dramatic gig of the week and was one I had been looking forward to for months.
Read More...
Gig Review: Reb Fountain @ Town Hall, Auckland - 29/07/2022
30 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Back into central Auckland for the second consecutive evening, this time to see an artist for whom I have great admiration for the first time, and whose latest album, Iris, was rightfully in my Top Ten of 2021. Until last month it had been years since I had been in Auckland Town Hall for a gig, but here I was again, this time for one of the series of Auckland Elemental events, and I could see lighting gantries across much of the venue so knew we were in for quite some night.
Read More...
Gig Review: Capital Theatre @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 28/07/2022
28 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Down to the Tuning Fork on a school night, whatever next?! Mind you, it was for a special occasion as Capital Theatre were back in town and it has been way too long since I last saw them play (thanks Covid).
Read More...
Infinity Ritual - EP Review: Infinity Ritual
28 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from New Plymouth trio Adam Colless (guitars, vocals), Jason Karam (bass, vocals, mellotron) and Mark Thomas (drums and percussion). The four songs, 23 minutes in length, show a band who are bringing together groove metal with stoner, displaying plenty of bottom end with rich distortion.
Read More...
Sea Mouse - EP Review: Evil Heart
27 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There is a time in many music lover’s lives when they finally fall into the caress of the blues. Everyone has their own genre they prefer, but the best blues is that which really calls to the listener on an emotional level, and for me that means two very different strands, and my favourite depends on what I am feeling like on any particular day.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DOJA
    Central Cee
  • I AIN'T WORRIED
    OneRepublic
  • BAD HABIT
    Steve Lacy
  • GLIMPSE OF US
    Joji
  • BIG CITY LIFE
    Luude And Mattafix
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD)
    Kate Bush
  • VEGAS
    Doja Cat
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • I LIKE YOU (A HAPPIER SONG)
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem