This is it, folks – The Angels 2020. 44 years after their first release, The Angels have released their new EP, Under The Stone. Their first new material in six years, this is a band that’s still raging with the energy and intensity of an act that’s just starting out.
Under The Stone is classic Angels, the band that Jimmy Barnes said “changed Australian music forever”. There are few more glorious sounds in Australian music than the blistering guitar attack of the Brewster brothers.
The title track ‘Under The Stone’ came to The Angels’ Rick Brewster in a dream, “I’d been messing around with a number of slower tunes and felt the urge to write a full-on riff-based track,” he explains. “It was one of those ‘wake up in the middle of the night, I’ve got to record this riff before I forget it’ episodes.”
Under The Stone shows many sides to The Angels, it’s not all about their classic guitar sound. Drummer Nick Norton assumes lead vocal duties on two tracks – ‘Escape’ and ‘Leaders of Men’ – and ‘Heart to Heart’ is “an unashamed nod to Pink Floyd”. With a powerful vocal by Dave Gleeson, it’s a moving song about child sexual abuse and the innocent victims that are left behind.
‘Escape’ resonates with the crazy times we find ourselves in. “I wrote ‘Escape’ years ago, not as a pandemic lament but as a tale of world weariness,” Nick explains. He imagined the song would be classic Angels: riff-driven hard rock. But it took a surprising left turn with John responsible for the music and became “perhaps more Bob Dylan than Angels”.
Then there’s the epic celebration of the history of blues and rock, ‘Blue Blood’, which the Brewster Brothers wrote with former Guns N’ Roses manager Alan Niven. It’s no surprise that Niven is a fan, with Axl Rose on record as saying, “one of the main reasons this band [Guns N’ Roses] got together was a song called ‘Take A Long Line’”.
Under The Stone shows that The Angels remain a potent force. Live on stage. And on record. Under the glitter. Under the Stone.