Stick Figure – Set In Stone
1.) Fire on the Horizon
2.) In This Love
3.) SOund of the Sea
4.) Choice Is Yours (feat. Slightly Stoopid)
5.) Mind Block (feat. Eric Rachmany of Rebelution)
7.) Out the Door
8.) Weary Eyes
9.) Smokin’ Love (feat. Collie Buddz)
11.) One of Those Days
12.) All My Love
13.) Sunshine and Rain
14.) Smiles on Faces (feat. KBong)
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: Nov. 13, 2015
Record Label: Ruffwood Records
Official Website: Stick Figure Website
Preceding Set in Stone, Stick Figure has released five albums, all recorded solo, with (guitarist/vocalist) Scott Woodruff laying down the tracks one by one. The current live band line-up features Kevin Bong (KBong) on keyboards, Kevin Offitzer on drums, Johnny Cosmic on percussion, guitar, keyboard, and bassist Tommy Suliman, with Scott upfront on guitar and vocals. Cutting a powerful path through the club, concert and ultimately the festival circuit, the band has toured with Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Dirty Heads, Collie Buddz, The Green and Tribal Seeds, and headlined their first national tour in 2014.
Stick Figure absolutely has a unique sound that has been developing through their tours and releases for quite some time. With Set in Stone, Stick figure has produced and released a very good album that explores elements of roots reggae, down-tempo and rock. There are many bands that are self-producing and engineering their music these days, but it would be unfair to lump Scott Woodruff into that category, solely on the strength of this sonic achievement.
Scott is a very talented producer/studio engineer and has really managed to explore his production without falling victim to over producing his work. The album is at its best when the band is flirting in the realms of psychedelia, rock and dubwise, but plays a little long at 14 songs, and at times can seem formulaic. That in mind, it is this formula that has driven the band to the top of the charts and fueled sold out shows across the nation. Stick Figure tags Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution and Collie Buddz for collaborations and while there are some anchor points to this album, they do not overshadow the rest of the songs on the album.
“Fire on the Horizon” opens the record up with sweeping builds and an almost Americana feel to the vocals. The song sings to a sanctuary that we all need to find in our lives and being at peace with what we can’t control. “Choice is Yours” features the boys from Slightly Stoopid and is one of my favorite on the album. “Smokin’ Love” features the ragamuffin style of Collie Buddz and is as catchy as they come, being stand out song on the album. “Shadow” has a strong dubwise section that is reminiscent of “Soldiers” by Steel Pulse and simultaneously talks about living in the moment while watching another rewind. “One of those Days” is driven by the rolling bass which even the vocals follow and makes for a hypnotic tune.
I can’t say enough about the production on this release, there are layers happening all over the place that keep you discovering the songs in a different way after each listen. Stick Figure leans heavily on keyboard melodies that often times precede vocal hooks and ingrain melodies in the listeners head, or stand alone as hooks themselves. You can hear the thought that is put into every element of these songs, whether a dramatic introduction, perfectly timed reverb’d snare hit or a psychedelic bridge. These are all catchy songs and easy to latch on to, but at times I wanted deeper contextual meaning to the songs/lyrics. Many vocal themes are repeated throughout the album and there is a heavy use on antonymic lyrics which I am not totally a fan off. I chalk that up to listener preference and not necessarily a dig on the album because maybe it’s all about putting “Smiles on Faces”.
Written & Reviewed By: Tommy Dubs
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]
Watch: Stick Figure – “Smiles On Faces”