How to describe Stark? A power trio with a banjo, perhaps? They have in Jamie Francis a lead singer with power and range who also plays some blinding guitar as well the aforementioned banjo and mandolin. Ewan Carson can handle anything from a full kit to a cajon and finally there is bassist Joshua Franklin who also adds his expertise behind the desk.
Stories From The Ground is a 6-track EP that’s crying out to be a full length album. If I say that Stark’s blend of Americana and British rock is reminiscent of a light Led Zeppelin, particularly with Jamie’s pyrotechnic vocals in full cry, you’ll probably throw things and the excellent opener, ‘Let’s Fall Down Together’, is rather too contemporary to fit that pattern but ‘Killing Floor’ has a solid riff that gives way unexpectedly to mandolin and soft vocals before threatening to end in a blues shout. I guess it’s more about feel and impression than actual details.
Whatever it is, Stark have got it. ‘Ghost’ could be premier prog-rock, side 2 of a triple album, if it were more than three minutes long and the closing ‘Ball And Chain’ is a brilliant slice of blues. Watch these chaps go places.
Artists’ website: www.starkband.com
A live cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Down In The Flood (Crash On The Levee)’. Stunning!