Effusion 35 – Stonewind

Effusion 35

The Philadelphia quartet, Effusion 35, create an amalgam of alternative, metal, prog-rock, punk and indie-rock that borrows heavily from the dynamic, classic rock of the 70’s mixed with the brawny attitude of early 90’s alternative rock, resulting in something that can also be described as indie power pop and prog-rock that teeters on the edge of heavy metal.

Fans of any and all types of guitar rock should find something in Effusion 35’s music they can relate to, whether it’s the steady drumming of Randy Robbins, the distorted, crunchy and often searing guitars of Joe Napoleon and frontman Pat Manley, or the slick, thundering bass riffs of Sean Hamill. Together they construct compositions ranging from generic alternative rock, to a raucous punk/prog mix to energetic power/alterna-rock with energetic tempos and propulsive, precision guitar work.

Like NYC trio The Exit, the musicians of Effusion 35 are quite capable as evident by the number of different styles they pull off and the tight instrumental sequences. But having good musicians doesn’t guarantee a good album. They must also have the ability to craft a song, so the music will stimulate our bodies as well as our minds. And this is what Stonewind is lacking. The music, while satisfying our need to rock out, too often fumbles around aimlessly, failing to form into cohesive songs or elicit much emotion other than “rock on dudes!” Some bands overcome this by relying on the vocals to provide the tunes with a lift, but this can’t be said for Effusion 35. The vocals sound the same on every song, are far from polished, are a distraction from the music and sound more like a strained yell than any kind of singing and will most likely have you searching for a throat lozenge.

With better songwriting and improved vocals, Effusion 35’s debut would be recommended as the layered guitars sometimes close in on the artful musings of Built To Spill, but may still be worth a try if you like roaring guitar rock.