Good music is worth the wait. The Cornerstones has been one of the first bands who ever reached out to me on twitter (the blessed land of vast music aptitude and extensive indulgence) and their songs made a lasting impression on me. With vibrant, tense and incisive melodies, with subtle, brisk and ardent vocals of raucous resonance, moreover with a promising debut album already released back in the day, the london based rock foursome left me eager for more. Their second album was in the making, they said, and so the wait began. I was lured in, held on patiently, knowing that the days, the months that passed, time spent by the band with composing, rehearsing and recording, would eventually pay off for the eager audience, would eventually be endorsed by me. As good music is worth the wait, music also takes time come into being, to evolve, to be elaborated to both the musicians' and the listeners' approval and satifaction.
Good music waits. The much-anticipated day of the album launch came, passed by and from there on the enthusiastic and ambitious rock quartet gained even more attention than before as people realized what refreshig tonal edge and harmonic genre blend the band came up with. The Cornerstones' second album also rightfully received a great deal of praise as music enthusiasts, reviewers agreed that the london foursome created something eclectic and reverberative, music to revisit and indulge in time after time.
'As a heavily rock influenced album, it is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. The Cornerstones capture what makes rock music an enduring genre, [….]' (Eclectic Pop, http://www.eclecticpop.com/)
' This masterpiece, ‘Stand In Line’, progresses track by track, bringing in different types of genres [….]' (http://www.gigslutz.co.uk)
'Stand In Line’s style makes it as timeless as it is fresh, it’s an album that gets better with each listen and is one you’ll be able to come back to again and again.' (http://www.surroundedby.co.uk)
The rather positive response to the band's follow-up record to 'Begin To End' went not unnoticed by me, and as several independent radio stations premiered 'Ground', whilst well acquainted songs such as 'This Is How It Ends' received airplay too, an insight into what versatile music could be expected of 'Stand In Line' (album) was given and gladly accepted. In fact it piqued my curiosity and interest for exploring the compositional, lyrical and tonal depth of The Cornerstones' album myself. In the end it has been a matter of time though that hold me back from proclaiming my view on, from even forming an opinion on what not only demanded zeal, passion and energy from the four-piece rock outfit but also and foremost time itself. Time to elaborate mere concepts, time to augment tonal segments, time to put the final touches to lyrics and melodies, time to define and refine a superior theme and sound. And as time is needed to compose and arrange, to alter and enhance, to bring ideas and drafts into being, it's also essential to conceive a stable opinion. I took time to connect to, to appreciate the music of The Cornerstones in its entirety. Coming back to, delving into the songs time and again, my musical verdict coclusively is such as that those who enjoy firm and edgy, feisty and soulful rock music, gonna take pleasure in listening to the london based rock quartet.
Now, let's see what made me come to this conclusion. Let's listen closely ...
The audience is heralded in the album's tonal landscape with 'Drag Me Down' - a colourful and elusive composition. Whilst a tingling and vague still intriguing instrumental intro creates tension, sharp and atmospheric vocals, backed by smooth and dreamy poylphonic elements, set in, unfold slowly but steadily and gain acerbity. 'My oh my, where have you been?' - it's as if the song itself claims more strength and dynamic, which is willingly granted when scratchy and heavy guitar riffs resound, grave and rhythmic drum beats resonate. An accentuated, imbuing bass line complements the instrumental arrangement and sharpens the rather laid-back, nonetheless fervent lead-in. The listener is left with impression that there is more to come and he won't be disappointed since 'Stand In Line' (album) manifests itself as a diversified yet coherent compilation of songs in the course of one's listening experience.
'You make it dark, just to make it light' - ambient, light but blurry and incisive, roaring guitar riffs alternate, irregularly and unpredictably, strong and stirring vocals of heartfelt resonance flare, only to be temporary replaced by high-pitched, tenuous backing vocals. 'Did It Again' suprises with a hazy, then rough sonority, its extensive and evolving melodic patterns make for an exciting and progressive adventure of sound.
Elated and soulful, soon keen and ardent vocals guide through the spirited and melodic composition that is 'Stand In Line'. Gently introduced, the song grows stronger as fierce drum beats, evocative and imposing guitar riffs come in. It's a memorable song, one that impresses due to its involving and emphatic disposition.
The Cornerstones have created a raucous and remarkable rock ballad with 'Ground'. There is a melancholic longing within the song, enhanced by poignant, bluesy vocals, cunningly prefaced by melodic drum beats, which segue to orotund and tense guitar riffs. High esteem for such an atmospheric and striking composition.
'My Mind' obviously focuses on Richard's vocal performance - expressive and soulful, yet raspy in resonance it's fortified by trenchant guitar riffs, which are rich and and vigorous in sound, as well as by vibrant and vivifying drum beats. Whilst guitar and drum melodies gain vehemence, thereby conflate into a rapid musical vortex, an intense and lingering instrumental outro is set up.
A rather dreamy and ethereal melodic concept underlies 'Smack Me In The Face' as steady and harmonious guitar riffs, a subtle tambourine sound lingers on one's mind and cause a haunting and engrossing tonal atmosphere. Dim and raw vocals of rasping echo contribute to the heartfelt and inspired imprint of the song.
The most characteristic, most mature composition on the album certainly is 'This Is How It Ends'. The track convincingly embodies the 'alternative rock spirit' with dashing and impetuous, raw sound, sonorous and sharp guitar riffs, a dim but ponderous bass line and pungent drum beats. Passionate and vehement vocals blend in to the point and in the song's dynamic yet firm core.
'This could be the end of everything..' - yet it isn't, 'End Of Everything' is on the contrary a prelude to a more mellow still feisty tonal colour of The Cornerstones' music debut. Bluesy and imbuing guitar riffs, melodious yet distinctive vocals, an atmospheric and stimulative bass line dictate the languorous rhythm, merges into a reverberative, deep instrumental and faint but thrilling vocal finish.
With 'Trouble' the listener is exposed to grand compositional dynamics. As acute and roughly vibrating guitar riffs meet edgy and cocky vocals of sharp, evocative timbre the song shows off in a bold and rousing manner you have trouble to elude. The vivacious and audacious melodic force that springs from the sweeping composition expands full of spirit, captures on the spot.
Here's to ambient harmonica indulgence - a resounding and harmonic harp arrangement is framed and accentuated by emotive and deep, gripping vocals. 'Erased' unfolds with light but broad, emphatic guitar sound, whilst mighty and severely resonant drum beats add to the apollonian and melodious tonal picture painted, give even more amplitude to the symphonious harmonica and vocal interaction.
The haunting harmonica melodies continue as The Cornerstones showcase a sentimental rock ballad. 'Try To Hide' stirs due to its melancholic feel, foremost though with a rather laid-back and gentle instrumentation, reaches out to its audience with sensitive and emotive vocals. The melodic and soft guitar riffs, the reserved and rhythmic drum beats create a solemn, intense atmosphere, eventually bring in a severity and gravity in sound. Not as a soul-stirring and exciting ballad as 'Ground' is, the song still manages to deeply resonate, to linger on.
'More Than Toxic' reveals its infectious nature immediately. The rather daring and offbeat therefore absorbing still mellow and poignant instrumentation - vehement, distinct and climatic drum beats are highlighted, languorous, gently echoing vocals of edgy timbre cling to them in chime - carries through a charming, complex and compelling composition. One that holds its listeners hostage with all it's melodical might.
Now, the vocal resonance and evaluation of what you just read can only be such ….
'Stand In Line' (album) is a well-rounded, melodically aligned and satisfying rock album which presents compositions of both intensity, sharpness and tonal concinnity yet also leaves room for the band to grow. The cunningly arranged compilation of songs boldly shows that The Cornerstones' music has been intensified, has been furnished with more edge and tonal urge, still remains refreshingly keen and gripping, still bears its characteristic asperity and acerbity in echo. It's music the listener gladly reverts to, is electrified and stirred by, plainly for its familiar yet fortified, tenacious sonority. Being the band's second release, the album's compositional progression and refinement is undeniable, thus makes hope arise their forthcoming music projects gonna be even more expressive and dynamic in sound than 'Stand In Line' (album) already is.
The foundation stone of The Cornerstones' direction and character as a band, that has been once laid with their auspicious musical debut in 2010, is beyond question solidified and expanded with the rock quartet's versatile and steadfast follow-up album and eventually leaves the listener eager for more - once more. On that note, 'This is how it ends, and it all begins again, starting from the top' - so why don't you rewind, start at the scratch and embrace the pungency, ardor and tension that is adopted by 'Drag Me Down' and its following songs again, bearing in mind that there is still more grand and rousing music making to expect in the time to come....
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