Stonewall - Stoner

edited August 1 in year-1976

Recorded in nine days allegedly in New York City, this often excruciatingly heavy album has a touch of everything for fans of that era of hard rock, with a truckload of huge lumbering riffs, organ work and the harmonica.

Stonewall - Stone
ARTIST: Stonewall
ALBUM: Stoner
LABEL: Tiger Lily Records
SERIAL: 14013
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 2000, Akarma Records, AK-116

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA Flag
LINEUP: Robert 'Bobby' Ronda - vocals, guitar * Lewis Whittaker - bass * John T. Milani - drums * Francis Crabb - keyboards, guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Right On * 02 Solitude * 03 Bloody Mary * 04 Outer Spaced * 05 Try And See It Through * 06 Atlantis * 07 Suite a) I'd Rather Be Blind b) Roll Over Rover

Background

This is a hard album to pin down. A crushing set of 70's hard rock, the album reportedly was recorded in early 1974 according to the album sleeve, but this sounds more like the product of 1971 or 72 for my ears. I might be wrong, but as to the scarcity of information on Stonewall we might never know, but according to some out there these guys were Italian!

Recorded in nine days allegedly in New York City, this often excruciatingly heavy album has a touch of everything for fans of that era of hard rock, with a truckload of huge lumbering riffs, organ work and the harmonica of course. The cover artwork is interesting, some poor guy buried beneath a stack of Marshall amps!

The Songs

Lots of blues incorporated into Stonewall's sound, take the track 'Try and See It Through', with the dominant use of harmonica and Hammond organ, which is a tasty little Purple based romp, with far more an acid based guitar tone, very fuzzy. Moving nicely is 'Atlantis', fast on occasion, with a simple yet effective rhythm section. The breakdown near the end is pure Zeppelin, reminiscent of 'Houses Of The Holy' era.

The Zeppelin influence can be heard even more keenly on 'Suite A (I'd Rather Be Blind B) Roll Over Roller', where the drummer beats his kit down in true Bonham fashion and the riffs are knocked out in vintage Jimmy Page swagger. Elsewhere it's hard rock at its most basic, check out the monstrous riffing during 'Bloody Mary', and the lengthy jam.

Stonewall aren't above slower progressive moments, 'Solitude' reminding me of early Wishbone Ash, circa 'Warrior'. When the track moves into overload halfway in, prepare to be hit by what can only be described as metal. Going for broke is 'Outer Space', where the band gets to take in every early 70's heavy blues ridden jam known to man. Convincing and another lost gem.

In Summary

So who can embellish anything about Stonewall? Some of our readers are bound to have heard this and hopefully can shed light on their origins and nationality. As expected this has a cult following and was released on CD by Akarma Records, an Italian label who specialise in releasing obscurities such as this. I noticed some ludicrous prices for this on CD throughout the web and as fine as this is, it's not worth sixty dollars. But a good listen for those into that particular 70's heavy blues sound.


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