CD Review – How’s That Sound? from The Blue Stones

How’s That Sound? by The Blue Stones


Oct. 31 2012 – Once upon a time in the city of Toronto we wondered into a bar named The Sister during Canadian Music Week 2012 to listen to 2 dudes from Windsor – one of which sang and played guitar, and the other one played the drums. Their name had a color and an object in it. Another band with 2 dudes playing guitar and drums whose name also had a color and object in it were in Toronto 8 days previously selling out the ACC (review here). We thought it would be cool to see a smaller version of the arena behemoths. The two dudes in the bar were in a band called The Blue Stones and they rocked (review here). Oddly dressed in suits we found out that The Blue Stones are Tarek Jafar on vocals and guitar and Justin Tessier on drums. We did not hesitate to give The Blue Stones an interview for Emerging Artist Spotlight ahead of their North By Northeast 2012 appearance a couple of months later. During that interview they told us that they were excited to be working on a new album. On Friday October 26 2012 that record was finally released in a low key affair at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto which we review here (the band’s official release party is in their hometown of Windsor on November 3 2012). Today we take a look (or is that a listen) at the album.

The Blue Stones at NXNE 2012

The first song Make Your Move starts with a line from a movie claiming “there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years –  is sometimes you’ve gotta say – what the fuck and make your move” – (bonus points if you recall the almost 30 year old movie Risky Business). Jafar’s vocals grab you from the first minute as his emotion dripped voice reverbs in your ears. Musically this song throbs with aural layers with a constant throbbing of a laid back nature to the blues, and then 3 minutes in the first guitar solo permeates – and ends all to quickly. As if to tease us of what to come The Blue Stones grab you with Make Your Move and take us the second song Eats You Up. The song reminds slightly of some of the deep tracks of U2’s Joshua Tree – ebbing and flowing like the tide. Slowing down and picking up while a persistent Tessier does not ease up on his drum pounding. All great stuff up till now and then….

HOLY SHIT – the third song named “Rolling With The Punches” kicks in. This is the band’s “The song”. Every great rock band has “The song” – The Eagles have Hotel California, Rush have Tom Sawyer, Led Zeppelin have Stairway To Heaven, The Rolling Stones have Jumping Jack Flash. “The song” is the one defining glimpse of a band that tells the world who they are and is the one song that the band will play in every single gig till the end of time. Rolling With The Punches nails the elusive formula of a catchy rhythm, sing along words, an insatiable urge to head bounce (or dance) and a song that becomes a fabric of your personal musical soundtrack. If I have ever heard an Indie song that deserves to be filling arenas and stadiums this is the one – it is a masterfully crafted masterpiece that audiences can easily relate to. Note to Tarek and Justin – I want to hear a 10 minute live extended jam of this song at your next live gig!

Song 4 is All I Ever Wanted and continues the smooth laid back vibe of the band. A slow burn best enjoyed with a whiskey in hand that emphasizes the musical genius behind the band. 

The next song is the lead off single for the band and is called Criminals. Jafar relies on some vocal distortion to emphasize his emotion. This song is one of the harder ones on the CD and is built on the now familiar Blue Stones formula – massive and relentless drums with blistering guitars. The two man band formula really proves to work on this particular song.

The final two songs of the album are Patience and Souls Full and are similar in their build up approach similar to Jeff Healy’s best songs. Starting slowly they both hit a crescendo of electric guitar and drums.

The Blue Stones in Toronto 2012

All 7 songs on the CD were written and produced by Jafar and Tessier themselves. Visit the band’s website for more information and to purchase the CD.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5. This offering by The Blue Stones is easily one of the best (if not THE best) Indie rock releases of 2012. Tessier’s John Bonham possessed drumming and Jafar’s Jimi Hendrix inspired guitar thrashing blend perfectly to create a sweet elixir of edgy blues with powerful vocals that conjure images of whisky bars in the deep south. Forget The Black Keys it is time for The Blue Stones.

1) Make Your Move
2) Eats You Up
3) Rolling With The Punches
4) All I Ever
5) Criminals
6) Patience
7) Soul’s Full

The Blue Stones at NXNE 2012
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