Stonefield’s Bent was written primarily while the Australian quartet was touring America last year. It’s the group’s fourth album since 2013, though I’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of them before. They’ve opened for bands from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (members of which helped record Bent) to Fleetwood Mac (the Mac is hipper than you though, no?), though neither of those acts’ sound would prepare you for what to expect from Stonefield.
Bent was recorded quickly, but the band must’ve gotten the tunes pretty tight while working them out on the road, because the finished project sounds alive but isn’t particularly loose. If I had to describe the band to people unfamiliar with their sound—um, for instance probably you—it falls firmly in the stoner-rock-pop column of your at-home scorecard. The four women of Stonefield never met a riff or a bottom heavy drum fill thundering over the plains that they didn’t like.
Stonefield doesn’t just stick to the loud and heavy, sneaking in a weird little experiment here and there to keep things ever more interesting. Take for instance “Dead Alive,” throwing disco in to the mix, or “Route 29” as it cribs a synth-pop lead to lighten up a doom-laden road trip (something they take to an even more higher level on the own Carpenter-esque “66”). As I said, these women carry legions when it comes to influences and they are master distillers of sound as they reinterpret and expand those influences.
Stonefield has spent a fair amount of time on the road, and they’re nearing the end of their North American tour with a show at Sleeping Village tonight, February 25. They play in Brooklyn a few days later before taking off for Europe, so let’s leave them with the impression Chicago is the best rock and/or roll city in the U.S., and not NYC.