When I first heard “Control”—in my opinion, the strongest track on Arc & Stones sophomore release, As You Were—I immediately thought, S—t, man, this reminds me of Bang Camaro—I miss those crazy bastards. Now, I will say that the rest of As You Were showcases the band’s ability to shift their tone from Camaro’s this-amp-goes-to-eleven mentality to elsewhere-territory, but that raw energy’s never too far gone.
In the press, Arc & Stones have garnered comparisons to Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, and the Black Keys (i.e. everyone who’s anyone in the alt-scene this year)—and those are easy matches they’ll keep getting as long as they’re circling the radar—but, for me, that’s not what sticks from the band.
These guys toe the line between the cleaned-up sludge that’s invaded rock radio these last few summers and the Last Great American Rock Band residuals of the early 2000s—think Audioslave, Velvet Revolver, et. al.—the one(ish)-and-done supergroups that took the Classic Coke formula of rock n’ roll and poured one more J.D. cocktail to toast the good old days. Does Arc & Stones have themselves a Cornell or a Weiland, a Morello or a Slash? Hell if I know. But they’re rock-solid, and loud. Even if they just turn out to be the redheaded stepchild of Scott Stapp and Jane’s Addiction, wouldn’t you still take ‘em over the next Nickleback? I can’t speak for the masses, but if I’m slugging tallboys at the neighborhood stage on a Friday night, that’s all I really need.