Review: The Mercy Stone – Ghettoblaster


There is music that I can’t relate to. Sometimes it’s because the song is plainly stupid, trite, or obnoxious that I just wish it would be sent into the sun. It’s like your friend who posts way too much personal stuff on Facebook, you just want to scream “Stop”. Then, there is an even more perverse music, a music that speaks like a man half-way through a Xanax withdrawal, a music that both baffles the mind and produces a near awkward laughter in the listener. This is the music of lunatics, music that I would say (in the most professional of instances of course) has gone “completely bananas”.

And here we are with just an album, The Mercy Stone’s debut experimentation Ghettoblaster. An album I am sure my closest friends are sick of hearing and hearing about in the last coupe of weeks, yet it took me some time to write about it because — life.

If you are someone who actually was alive to see the prog spectacle of the ‘70s you may remember the slightly nerdy King Crimson or even the lord dorkdom of the cape wearing Yes. While there are many genuinely cringe worthy moments from those bands nothing — and until I can be proven wrong I genuinely mean NOTHING compares to the awkward vibe you get from Ghettoblaster.

The Mercy Stone is a new project; it’s been around for a few years and was assembled by composer and guitarist Scott Grady — who has a master’s degree in music composition — and who assembled a 12-piece group to “to put his composition chops to work within a project that would have the substance and sophistication fitting for a contemporary-classical concert stage as well as the accessibility that would be palatable to rock audiences.” Going simply-said for an extraordinary amalgam of Classical Music, Jazz and Rock, the group presents a large body of work with their full-length debut Ghettoblaster. Large as in bringing together Stravinsky, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Radiohead, Bach, Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd, to name but a few.

The music on Ghettoblaster is very well composed and performed. Grady tends to pull together a strong cast of performers for his musical circus act. These fine tunes tend to be something to marvel at. It is this dichotomy that provides more of the head scratching moments. The album progresses in a peculiar, but fairly typical fashion during the majority of its run time. You might find the music endearing and charming as it blends rock, jazz, and classical qualities.

The ‘70s were a glorious period in music because people were getting paid way too much money to do all sorts of crazy projects, and even though some of the end results were complete disasters there was a sincerity to them. There was no sense of irony or pretentiousness in the attitudes of the musicians, they just wanted to make weird and complicated music. With Ghettoblaster, this ensemble does exactly that. The Mercy Stone are driven by the love of music, and it pays back — maybe not filling their pockets, but rather something on a higher, more spiritual level. Highly recommended.

Follow The Mercy Stone on Facebook.

Review: Obiymy Doschu – Son


Ukrainian Progressive Rock six-piece Obiymy Doschu have just put out their new release titled “Son” (Ukrainian for ‘dream’). The first thing that is quite obvious is that the band sing in Ukrainian, and I would say that it makes the difference indeed.

As Progressive as Progressive Rock can be, long lingering guitar solos with chords that stretch past the count of an individual musical bar blends with softly played keyboards and piano, and beautiful vocals are earnest, and in top form. The music of “Son” is hauntingly beautiful, moving, strange, and cosmic. Fans of Nosound, Lunatic Soul, Gazpacho, Sylvan, No-Man and Blackfield will want to add this release to their collections.

Obiymy Doschu - Son

What an extraordinary collection of music this is. From the atmospheric symphonic intro of the opening track “Ostannya Myt’,” to the gorgeous acoustic guitars of the gentle, “Razom,” to the supernatural, eerie, dreamlike sequence of “Son,” the listener is transfixed, almost as if staring into the darkest regions of outer space. What Prog Rock is, Obiymy Doschu does it perfectly, and this release is proof. The longer this CD plays, the more real the music becomes, and it quickly becomes clear that the members of the band have some supreme talent in composing music that is moody, atmospheric, layered and intensely technical. Each track takes the listener on a voyage, of sight, sound and sensations. String and woodwind instruments, as well as choir, are used to their fullest potential to create that sound that is neo-classical, while the drumslay a steady backbeat, but a closer listen reveals syncopated rhythms.

“Son” is just downright amazing. Listen to the title track that when hearing it, one will feel as if they are suspended somewhere between a dream and reality. Close your eyes when hearing this song, and as the song fades into black, you will be left with emotions that don’t come to often when hearing music – breathless, spent, and moved. The title track in parts is soft, in others loud, at others heavy, while music that is bizarre but passionate as hell plays havoc with your sense of what is real and what is made up.

Again, this was downright marvelous. The mixing, courtesy of Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief), is incredible, the sound astonishing, with every note crystal clear. The vocals are audible and easily understood. The lyrics make sense (no, I don’t speak Ukrainian, but the band took care of it), and the musicianship was breathtaking. Not a bad track to be heard, no “fillers” to have to worry will come along and ruin the progression of sensations that are felt during this CD’s playing time. For lovers of the intense, the heartfelt, the reflective, and the sincere type of Progressive Rock that Obiymy Doschu plays – and plays so perfectly – this is a must have.

Visit Obiymy Doschu’s official website for more information.