By Ryan McConnell
‘Howling Vol I’ is the debut EP from blues-rock duo Stone Dead John and it comes with a whole load of swagger. Christopher Johnston and Shug McKay make up the group and on first listen you would be forgiven for thinking these lads were Stateside. With lead-singer Christopher’s strong blues-style vocals and a sound that sits somewhere between Black Stone Cherry and The Black Keys in their ‘Thickfreakness’ era, the duo really offer a concept that separates itself from anything else coming out of Glasgow right now (aye, I did say Glasgow).
The three track EP kicks of with the brilliant ‘No Fear’ which is the perfect introduction to the fiery sound of Stone Dead John. “You can’t stop us, it’s f*ckin party time” is the howling statement on this riff heavy track as the boys set out their intent for things going forward. Check out the visuals for it below..
Next up is the heavier ‘Neelia’ where the vocals of front man Christopher really shine through. With his grunge-style tones and a swagger in his voice reminiscent of Elvis you will be hard pushed to find any vocalist like him bursting onto the scene in the UK at present. The track starts with a marching beat and a dark bass lick in the build up before gathering pace towards the big room sound on the chorus which is sure to get any crowd jumping off their feet in excitement.
The final track on the EP ‘Renegades’ comes across as a call to arms in joining the lads on their quest to stand apart from the rest in the ever thriving Glasgow music scene, and the rock duo do just that. With it’s killer blues-rock riff accompanied by an almost tribal drum beat working with it in unison throughout, ‘Renegades’ is an all out rock hit built for the live stage.
I for one am looking forward to see what comes next with these lads, and will sure to be heading out to catch them live once the current lockdown is lifted.
Catch up with the band on the following..