The Stoles’ debut album is finally here. After dabbling in various sounds, their style and lineup have stabilised and crystallised into Age of Deception. Four years on from the indie beat of ‘The Protest Song’, we have an alt-rock trio who take influence from The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Queens Of The Stone Age, Coldplay and, most conspicuously, U2.
They’ve been a fixture on the Dublin live scene and this album has been preceded by no less than four singles, which amounts to 50% of the record. ‘Getaway’ kicks things off with a thumping bass line and some Johnny Marr style guitars. The production is crisp and clean throughout. The Stoles have signed up with the American label Spectra Music Group and it’s incredible the difference it makes when a local band have a bit of a budget for mixing and mastering. Soundwise, they leave their peers looking poor by comparison.
‘Evelyn’ was another single and has a Fratellis’ feel while the new song, ‘Out Of Control’, has a menacing stomp. ‘Addicted To You’ and ‘Wake Up’ walk territory we’ve seen before from lesser bands. The Stoles sound great when rocking out but the slower numbers do not suit them. The two remaining singles, ‘I Don’t Get Along With You’ and the title track finishes the album off in a hard rocking and epic style respectively.
Age Of Deception starts and ends really well but it slumps in the middle. The four singles, along with ‘Out Of Control’ are magic but largely the new songs add little value. Given that this album has been in the can for 12 months and the band have been gigging all over, Age Of Deception acts as a good introduction to The Stoles, but there is better to come down the line.