I learned the other day that, on average, it takes a typical fan up to seven listens before he’ll buy a song on iTunes. SEVEN LISTENS!!! I guess I had suddenly become “atypical” after sampling Heart of Gold for about 30 seconds before pressing the BUY button thanks to roots rock standout The Cold Stares. I’ve been a casual follower of the Cold Stares for years but hadn’t paid much attention until the Resonator EP hit on March 7th and then it all just clicked.
The Cold Stares is an ever-enduring two-man roots rock band hailing from Evansville, Indiana. Resonator is soaked in thick kick-ass blues rock that melds the raw vibe of the 70’s band Mountain and rung out with hooks that remind me more of ZZ Top. The Cold Stares is fronted by seasoned guitarist and vocalist Chris Tapp and the entirety of the rhythm section is drummer extraordinaire, Brian Mullins.
The track listing is short but sweet and kicks off with Fire in the Sand, then flows into Heart of Gold, never to be confused with Neil Young’s song named the same. With a couple of songs in, on first listen, you can tell that this album bears the production markings of a real “pro”. Mark Needham, who has Fleetwood Mac and Imagine Dragons records on his wall, invited the duo to come to Los Angeles and record the album – excellent choice, guys! Cannonball and Monroe Doctrine hold true to the band’s goal of keeping it raw and real while wrapping up the EP with my favorite Jesus’ Brother James. You won’t hear any ballads or varied instrumentation on this album – this is southbound rock and roll ’til the end brotha!
I had the honor of sharing the stage a few months back with Chris and Brian. I was totally expecting a thinner version live, since all two-piece band works with the limitation of simplicity, but The Cold Stares’ wall of sound was full, warm and a thrill to witness. Their show was great even though you could hardly see Brian behind his oversized kick drum!
Grab Resonator anywhere you can buy music and check out their self-produced documentary entitled Look Over Yonder Hill.