It’s been a while since I enjoyed a hard rock album. Really. Cause, recently, a number of “hard rock” songs I have had to listen to has this post-hardcore/melodic metalcore vibe. Maybe it’s the drums. Maybe it’s the production style but his has been my experience with a number of American and European bands of late. And it’s usually a “MEH” experience. So when I was to listen to Stoker’s self-titled debut album, I was very sceptical. I’m glad to say that the first few seconds of the album slapped some optimism into me.
The opening track “Keep Swirling” is a short and energetic track and boy, does it deliver. It’s catchy, fun, upbeat. It’s the perfect opening track. The first 2 bands that came to mind when listening to this song were The Killers and The Used. “Hot bodyNobody” is next track and while it’s not as energetic as the previous, it has a catchy tune that I will love to listen to live.
“Forever Drive” is one of the more mellow tracks on the album. Matter of fact, it’s the most mellow in the first half of the album. It was while this track was playing that I really noticed how organic the instruments sound on the album. On this track, it was the drumming that really left an impression on me. Kept thinking how I’d actually want to learn the drum part (if I could play). “Transylvanian Summer” kinda turns up the eerie vibe and feels quite haunting. This is quite accurate, seeing as it’s got the name “Transylvania” in its title. ”Speed-night” follows after and it’s a short and energetic listen, but the song doesn’t really stick in my head after I’ve listened to it.
“A Feast” is a somewhat, melancholic and haunting song that falls short of the 6-minute mark by just a few seconds, making it the longest song on the album. While I am sure some might find the song a tad too long, I didn’t find it tedious to listen to. In fact, it’s the unique songs on the album (the good kinda unique).
“Wasteman” and “Get lost in this” are the last two songs on the album. And I think both these songs did a good job of closing the album. The former feeling like the end of a story and the latter feeling like an epilogue of the story. And this epilogue just so happens to be one of my favourite songs on the album. There’s no drumming, no bass. Just two guitars and a couple of voice boxes. Honestly, it’s one of the best album closers I’ve heard this year.
Stoker self-titled album is a pretty impressive effort. And an interesting one to listen to. It’s not perfect, but it’s well done. And it’s really obvious these guys put a lot of work into the album. The instruments are very audible and organic, with a couple of unique songs that fits well with the rest of the album… Honestly, there are still some things I want to say about this album, but I’ll keep it simple: This is a good album and it deserves to be listened to.
A good album overall and keenly watching out for what they do next. This is a 3 star album for me.