Until now Casket/Copro CDs were sure to be sent out to other reviewers, because during all these years only the album “Hagridden” from LIPID appealed to me (and that was three years ago), so it was high time for another album and I have chosen the debut album of the band SANDSTONE from Northern Ireland. The métier of this quartet from Derry is Hard Rock, so less modern as the usual releases of the Copro bands.
Founded in 2003, SANDSTONE are a very young band, but a band that already in their first year of existence recorded and EP and a full length album, but it took another two years until a label grabbed them and now brings their debut through a record company among the people. Originality is not the strength of the band, for that this genre is too populated, but that does not necessarily mean that “Tides Of Opinion” is a rip-off, cause Sean McBay, the vocalist and the mastermind of the band, has not only a good hand for catchy hooks and melodies, but also a slight nasal voice which brands the songs.
Musically they definitely have radio-potential, cause songs like the very good, varied and intense “America”, which has some critical lyrics to it (which might reduce its chances on the US stations, hehe), the brisk “Building Castles” endowed with some good melodies, the good ballad “Unbroken”, the catchy “Nemesii” as well as “Children of The Jihad” with its oriental touch, are definitely catchy enough to appeal to a larger audience.
Of course there are also some average songs as well and the production doesn’t always has the power to drive the songs forth, but who likes it a bit commercial, then he should find something worth listening to on “Tides Of Opinion”, the above-mentioned songs are worth it. (Online September 23, 2006)