Album review: SOULSTACK – Soulstack

Soulstack

Stack-O-Soul  [Release date 18.06.15]

‘Soulstack’ is a song driven, soulful roots-rock album with plenty of feel, by a band that is at its best when it stretches out. And therein lies a slight problem, because in their efforts to present polished hook laden songs they too infrequently fulfil their overall potential.

This is their third album and for the most part it’s a soulful mellifluous, but understated effort that flickers and only burns on stellar moments such as the funky opener ‘Just Don’t Call It The Blues’ – splendid vocals, fine band interplay and a good hook – and the album highlight ‘No Man’s Land’ , which combines a crunching riff led work-out with a colourful narrative: ‘Come in late, lord you stink of gin, truck stop cologne and a night of sin.”

Front man Jonathan Knight and his band, compromising guitarist Chris Latta, Mark Wessenger on keys, bassist Darryl ‘Harpo’ Peterson and drummer Tom Bona try to hard to nail a commercial approach which mires them in a pleasant white boy soul territory that all too rarely lights the touch paper.

‘Tip Of My Tongue’ for example’, is one of their best such efforts, but it never quite gets beyond the MOR feel of say Paul Carrack, while the uplifting chorus of ‘Can’t Take It With You’ verges on the poppy, albeit they have sufficient confidence in the arrangement to break the song down and then work their way back to the chorus.

‘Lot Of Good Men’ is a bristling groove which works towards feverish finale, before a subtle drop down. The band also subtly shifts from soul to Americana on ‘Love Thing’ and the closing ‘Love Don’t Wait’. Both songs are well suited to an outfit that verges on the soulful side of fellow Canadians The Band, and Little Feat.

You can feel Soulstack’s effortless ability in both their musical sweep and intuitive interplay, but while there’s a welcome emphasis on song craft, you can’t help but feel this is a band that too often plays within itself.

Aside from the two earlier highlighted tracks, they never quite break beyond the evocative Ben E. King feel of ‘Little Fire Alive’, or the contemporary soul feel of ‘Real Bad Feeling’, while Knight’s tasteful Knopfler stylings don’t quite deliver the similar punch offered by Wessenger’s muscular B3 breaks.

Perhaps the band’s music ambition is writ large in their name and they achieved what they aimed for,  but for a third album it’s not quite the definitive statement we might have hoped for.  ***½

Review by Pete Feenstra





Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 17 July.

Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 24 July 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 26 July 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com


Power Plays w/c 8 August 2022 (Mon-Fri)
BORN LOST Take Time (Mouthpiece) (Revolver Records)
JAIME KYLE Driving With The Brakes On (Conquest Music)
SCARLET DORN Born To Suffer (SPV Recordings)
HOLDING ABSENCE Coffin (Sharptone Records)
TYRANNOSAURUS NEBULOUS Get Some (Echoed Past Records)
KROOKED TONGUE When The Beaches Bleed (indie)
SKYPILOT Knifed On The Beach (The Distortion Project)

Featured Albums w/c 8 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 LESSMAN VOSS Rock Is Our Religion (Atomic Fire Records)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. Force Majeure (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS A Very Unusual Head (indie)



Popular (last 30 days)


This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply