Friday, April 19 2024

The latest album, ‘Beach Party‘, by Stage Door Guy, is a compelling blend of Blues, Brit Pop, Indie Rock, Country, Punk, House and Pop… topped with poetic lyrics!! Defying a singular style, this album embraces a multitude of genres that create a rich and varied musical tapestry. Founded in London by Manchester-born Adam Brody and guitarist CJ Williams, their meeting in New Orleans, renowned for its jazz and rhythm and blues scene, occurred on the final day of Mardi Gras while performing at the renowned Buffas lounge.

The album starts with ‘I’m Dancing,’ a bluesy ska rock song with an infectious, upbeat rhythm and a superb bassline that reminds me of UK bands The Specials and Madness, but it transports you to a steamy club in New Orleans, setting the album’s tone: a fusion of American blues and British roots.

This mix is also apparent on the album’s single ‘Bullyboy’. Already boasting 2,300 streams on Spotify, ‘Bullyboy’ starts mellower, somewhat akin to the Blues Brothers’ ‘Everybody Loves Somebody’ whilst intertwined with sound of The Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’. It’s an indie rock song infused with blues influences. As the chorus kicks in, the song captivates with its persistent beat and spoken word vocals. A surprising twist unfolds toward the end, transforming it into an upbeat party anthem. Lyrically, it delves into a malfunctioning dystopian world where madness reigns.

‘Ho Ho Ho’ showcases remarkable guitar picking, based on Senegalese Kora players like Diabel Cissokho. An acoustic track about the passage of time, it immediately enthralls listeners by the sound and melody of the guitar. These impressive guitar skills resurface in ‘Crash Crash Bang’ which transitions into a mellower rock vibe—these tracks are definite highlights of the album.

‘L.o.v.e.’ showcases a charming country and hillbilly sound, enriched by harmonious female vocals. The seamless blend of the male and female voices, accompanied by a strong tune and harmonica, creates an unforgettable melody that lingers in the mind like an earworm. This track stands out as yet another gem on this remarkable album.

The titular track, ‘Beach Party’ blends new wave elements with a Bo Diddley riff, while ‘Start at the End’ presents a surreal ambience, underscored by a haunting tune and a captivating violin—reminiscent of The Beatles’ experimental phases seen on ‘Revolver’ and ‘Sgt. Pepper’ (hence the album’s cover).

‘Ticket to Peru’ surprises with its cheerful, house-influenced pop sound—a complete genre shift that lifts the listener. And, the album’s final track, ‘Black Hole Information Paradox’ also leans into house-influenced pop, emphasising its infectious beat. More welcome surprises.

Stage Door Guy proves to be an immensely versatile duo, effortlessly navigating diverse genres while maintaining cohesive excellence throughout. Despite the album’s darker thematic elements, exploring a world teetering towards dystopia, the tunes would actually be great at beach parties! And, the more you delve into it, the more you’ll uncover and switch between what’s your favourite track. With Colin Thorpe’s adept production, Stage Door Guy delivers an exceptional album, skillfully blending sounds and styles. Their remarkable talent shines through—it’s clear they excel across a variety of musical spectrums.

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Review

Summary

Stage Door Guy’s ‘Beach Party’ album skillfully blends blues, indie rock, country and pop, demonstrating their versatility and smooth genre mix, creating a varied and engaging musical experience.
82%

Rating

song quality
vocal performance
lyrics
instrumentation
production

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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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