Lucas Stone – ‘DEATHBED’ [EP Review}

Review: Dan Maynard
If you’ve ever sat down with Lucas Stone, you’d likely have an idea of how many stories he has to share. I myself did an hour plus interview with him last year and that only scratched the surface. He has been a staple in the music scene for the past two decades, creating one of Queenslands most prolific bands, Helm. Now he spends most of his time writing and touring with Hammers. But somehow, between Hammers, his personal life and running his own business, he’s managed to put together his debut solo EP Deathbed, one that has been a long time coming and it was truly worth the wait.

Deathbed opens with Carry the Black, a track that if you know Stoneys back catalogue well enough, perfectly combines each piece of his own puzzle. Flaunting his own style along with his influences, Carry the Black begins post punk rock and pure aggression that shines through in the opening lyrics and vocals. Changing into a brutal display of sludge and gut punching lows infused with that harmony driven melody that Lucas does so well.

With a contact list of some of Australia’s best musicians, Stoney has taken well advantage of that by calling in some favours. Vocalists Nathan Wyner (A Secret Death), Jason Brown (Sunk Loto), Colin Jeffs (Aversions Crown) and Leigh Fish’ Dowling (Hammers) all make appearances on the EP, each bringing their unique vocal abilities to the table. Alongside these iconic vocalists are musicians Dario Lagana (Hammers/Helm), Mick Jeffery (Aversions Crown), Simon Reys (Scalene) and Sam Vallen (Caligulas Horse).

Title track Deathbed (A-OK) sits midway, the middle child and the standout track for myself. I may be biased, Jason Brown is a long time favourite vocalist of mine and pair that with Stoney, this was destined to be a standout. On top of Jason’s contributions, the unmistakable sounds of Sam Vallens (Caligulas Horse) guitar blast through with an epic prog solo to close out the song. The track holds a clear influence from American metal band He is Legend, musically and vocally the harmonies are a homage to one of Stoneys favourite bands, whether intentional or not, it’s perfect and I mean that as the highest compliment.

Closing out the EP is Portent, with an intro that will rip your face thoroughly off, it’s quick to flip the page flawlessly to an epic verse of clean vocals reminiscent of his Helm days. Finishing up with the outro this EP deserved, haunting leads backed by the deepest most deadly dirty guitar and Stoneys vocals slapped across the top, it closes out Deathbed with faultless precision.

If there is anyone who could give an EP like this a life, it’s Lucas Stone. A beast of a musician and a man of many words. This was a long journey and only the beginning of a new chapter in the book of StoneyDeathbed sheds light on every aspect of Stoneys distinctive sounds whilst showing a side of him that most of us are yet to see, so whatever you do, don’t waste Deathbeds time with shitty cheap headphones or playing it through your crappy phone. No, this  EP deserves loud dynamic speakers that can breathe and give the listener every part of it. Now go, go listen and try to tell me your face is still intact in the end.

Stream DEATHBED here