Starry Messenger, from Orlando rockers The Dropa Stone is now available, and it’s aptly titled. These talented musicians describe their music as a groovy fusion of rock with rhythm and blues. I can see that, but I’d say it has more of a progressive jam feel to it. It’s different than most of the stuff on the airways and in the local venues and it’s a welcome change.
The album features deep, layered powerful songs and showcases the excellent musical talent in the line-up. It’s extremely difficult to categorize the band, and that’s a good thing. If I had to compare them to any artists, it would be a creative combination of Incubus and King Crimson. It does not capture their sound perfectly, and I know it sounds odd, but it works.
The music on Starry Messenger is quite diverse; a fact that may hurt the band commercially, as it’s hard to find rock music fans who are going to enjoy all of the many directions the band pulls us. However, throughout the nine selections, the guitar work from Justin Henry and Jon Meyers is excellent. Meyers is the lead vocalist and has a nice, fresh, unique voice. Will Richey on bass and Joe Lederman on drums consistently provide a powerful bass groove.
The album kicks off with a spacey Rush-esque rocker titled “Vectors,” it’s a good peek at what to expect over the remainder of the album, but the songs, direction and groove change throughout. There are a few nice tunes with more of a blues feel, such as “Catfish Blues” and Salsa Verde.”
The best cuts were the ones with more of an Alternative Rock bent, particularly my favorite “Kinski’s Spiral” and “Other Worlds Than These.”
The remainder of the album is pretty heavy on jam based rock with a clear classic rock feel. It well be well-received by fans of jam rock, but there are varied options for other rock fans. Starry Messenger is worth a listen for sure, and I suspect everyone will find a song or two that they really like.
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