Two years since the release of ‘Nothing is Forgotten’, rock powerhouse Stand Alone certainly have not been resting on their laurels for all this time. Hailing from Bradford, the trio became the glorious victors of the Leeds SoundWaves competition back in 2017, and have been touring up and down the country ever since. Thankfully, we are now blessed with new music in the form of ballsy new EP ‘Falling, Faster’.
Kicking off this grand release is veteran track ‘Save You’, which has been floating around in the Stand Alone story for just over a year. Greeting you almost immediately are some hardcore riffs from multi-talented guitarist Gavin Stevenson, followed by him belting out fantastic vocals not two seconds later. The occasional clinking of metal from drummer Tom Durrans is an unexpected twist in amongst the pounding percussion, but proves utterly charming. Finally, Luke Harrison’s efforts refuse to be overshadowed, as is theproblem with some bassists, as his sassy metal riffs pulse straight into the heart of ‘Save You’. This song perfectly demonstrates exactly who each member of Stand Alone are and what they are capable of, and that is incredible rock music.
In a harsh reality where one in four people will experience mental health problems every year, this startling statistic alone means that addressing this issue has never been more pertinent. Luckily, Stand Alone have approached this sensitive subject and the fragility of life perfectly with the aptly titled ‘Never Stand Alone’, with heartfelt, honest lyrics sung in beautiful harmony by the whole trio. All this is achieved spectacularly without compromising on their signature head banging rock style, which in some ways makes the message within this track more sincere.
When an EP is bursting with so much talent, it is almost impossible to find that ‘stand out’ song, and seems like an injustice to its fellow brethren. But if we had to choose a track that peeks ever so slightly ahead of the pack, it has to be ‘Repose En Paix’. Everything from the driving metallic riffs, to bass and percussion that blaze and hold back in all the right places to the daring lyrical content, there is something so professionally polished about this.
With a nod to the 2015 Paris terror attacks, ‘Repose En Paix’ could be politically driven or pointing to any one person in particular, depending on your perspective or interpretation. But in reality, the underlying message could simply be an anthem aimed at anyone in the world that is spreading hatred and fear. The simple line: ‘your terror will not stop us living our lives’ speaks to the hearts of everyone and this is truly something remarkable. When musicians create something so uniting and honest, they leavethe mundanity of their normal selves behind, and become respectable heroes, even if for just shy of five minutes. Stand Alone certainly have done this and more with ‘Repose En Paix’.
For the last time in closing track ‘616’, we get to experience Stevenson’s exceptionally carrying vocals, the immense power he exudes and the level of passion is staggering. Hearing the combination of gritty and clear, uplifting riffs against the gut punching drums makes for pure rock and roll magic. As Stevenson’s talents marry with both Durrans and Harrison as the song comes to an end, we get to hear the collective force singing their respective lyrics in all their glory.
As the last piano notes fade into your ears, it gives you a chance to reflect upon what you have just experienced. When a band creates songs that deal with more than just superficial, it makes for a truly special musical experience. Upon first listening, you might appreciate Stand Alone’s remarkable rock/metal vibes and vocals, and quite rightly so. But as you digest this EP in a handful of listens, the blatant honesty of their lyrics becomes hauntingly apparent. ‘Falling, Faster’ is simply a wonderfully thought-provoking release, written by genuine, down to earth lads.