The Deal: Charlotte quartet Stoned for Murder independently releases debut, self-titled CD.
The Good: Down the road in Atlanta, it seems like a metal band is created once every seven minutes (just a rough estimate). Now in the Queen City comes a Southern metal quartet with solid songwriting, guitar solos that aren't tantamount to jerk-off sessions and growled vocals that don't sound like Cookie Monster. Singer Taylor Edwards offers the right amount of rasp, his vocal tone offering a lower pitch, but similar gruff quality to Sebastian Bach at times (minus the cheese), while sounding more like Glenn Danzig at others. Tim Williams gives complexity to the drum work without sounding like a double-bass thumper. Guitarist Josh Mode knows when to hold back and when a splashed solo can add the right character to a song, while Joe Moore handles the low end on bass. The band also gives a good balance between upbeat – "New Joint" – and more mellow – the six-minute "Candyman" and the classic chugging metal of "Pigs" and "Follow the Dream."
The Bad: The album is six songs clocking in just under 22 minutes, but it's better than nothing. Just don't blink or you might miss it.
The Verdict: The Rob Tavaglion-produced disc presents the right raw quality for the band's music and message. I'm curious to see them live after hearing it – mission accomplished, I'd say.