A Slack Romance

The cherubic [B]Ben Smith[/B] wants to rock'n'roll. School's no fun and no-one wants to listen to sixth-form poetry unless it's set to music....

A Slack Romance

5 / 10 The cherubic Ben Smith wants to rock'n'roll. School's no fun and no-one wants to listen to sixth-form poetry unless it's set to music. But he'll make them listen. After all, he's got a guitar, he's got a grunge pedal and he's gonna play all that unhappiness out of his skinny little frame. He's in Stony Sleep, and that difficult second album, 'A Slack Romance', is teenage angst through and through.







Stony Sleep have upped the Bratpop stakes. Since the limp indie-rock of 1996's 'Music For Chameleons', they've recruited White Zombie's mixer, grown some Korn-esque dreadlocks and they're heavy-riffing like it never went out of fashion.







Sadly, though, imitation seems to be the order of the day. 'Lady Lazarus' and 'She's A Honey' ape the thunderous dynamic of Black Francis just once too often, and 'Khartoum' leafs at leisure through the lyric-sheet of Kurt without ever quite striking an empathetic note. 'A Slack Romance' is competent pop-metal from beginning to end, but, frankly, give or take the odd sensitive string section, it's not a million miles from Silverchair.







While Stony Sleep can adequately plumb the depths of misery, they seldom articulate what the rest of the post-grunge hordes cannot. And that's the saddest thing.

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