New EP – Under The Stone

New EP – Under The Stone

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 both live on stage and on record.

Under The Glitter – Under The Stone

The Angels - Under The Stone - EP - Rear Cover

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– Track By Track –

Track 1 – Under The Stone

From one of those “wake up in the middle of the night, I’ve got to record this riff before I forget it” episodes. I’d been messing around with a number of slower tunes and felt the urge to write a full-on riff-based track. The music came easily and had the benefit of many gigs with the band playing it live before we settled on an arrangement and recorded it for the third time. Most people I know seem to know somebody who carries a twisted view of reality and this thought gave me the spark I needed for the words.” – Rick Brewster

(Words and music by Rick Brewster)

Track 2 – Escape

I wrote ‘Escape’ years ago, not as a pandemic lament, but as a tale of world weariness. John then took the lyrics a few years back and put them to a chordal songwriter-style vamp he’d been working on. Initially I penned the lyrics imagining a typical Angels hard rock song. I was hearing aggressive phrasing and vocal delivery, a faster tempo, something riff-driven. The
left turn really works. Perhaps more Bob Dylan than Angels. When I laid down the vocal track in the studio, John hummed a rough melody and I just kind of went in and did it. The song has
become a nice duality between this bright country-ish tune masking a dark tale. A theme of world weariness, wanting to escape from the human race, has turned out to be ripe during this long, crazy lockdown we’re all under.” – Nick Norton

(Music by John Brewster, words by Nick Norton)

Track 3 – Blue Blood

“The spirit does not age, when 1-4-5’s save …” “Blues music dates back to at least the early 20th century, the roots of which can be traced through all jazz, swing and rock ’n’roll through the decades and into the now. This kind of music never feels dated; it has been passed on to generation after generation, evidenced by a massive number of young people both playing or discovering the genre. Long live rock ’n’ roll! Alan, ex manager of Guns N’ Roses, wrote the lyric after many long phone conversations between Sydney and Arizona. I came up with the musical basis while fooling around on my Mini Maton acoustic.” – John Brewster

(Music by John Brewster and Rick Brewster, words by Alan Niven)

Track 4 – Heart To Heart

While writing the words for ‘Under The Stone’ I had a moment of clarity about another song, a long and dark piece of music I’d been working on. I started thinking about all those Catholic priests, their addictions and the innocent victims left in their wake. The words followed and the song became ‘Heart to Heart’. An unashamed nod to Pink Floyd, one of my all-time favourite bands. A wonderful example of Dave Gleeson’s remarkable vocal talents. And featuring some exceptional guitar and slide guitar playing by my friend Dave Wilson.” – Rick Brewster

(Words and music by Rick Brewster)

Track 5 – Leaders Of Men

‘Leaders’ was another lyric sheet I wrote a few years back and threw at the band, knowing the guys had some rough musical structures. John had a dark minor blues riff, which was a nice departure from what I’d initially ideated. A recording we made at the time had John’s groove for ‘Leaders’ as a bluesy stomp with a backbeat. When we came back to re-recording it, Sam put forward the suggestion of having a swinging train beat, akin to, say, ‘Devil’s Gate’. We tried the new feel on a late 2019 session and it worked. Now the song was its own entity. In theory it could have been sung by Dave, but after I did the scratch vocal, it seemed natural to John and Rick for me to follow through as vocalist. In terms of the theme, the comment is that, throughout the ages, most of us will pass through as automatons, led by powerful actors, whose intentions are questionable.” – Nick Norton

(Music by John Brewster, words by Nick Norton)


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