by Ryan McCoy
The Cold Stares are a powerful, two-man rock band based out of Nashville, TN. The group is composed of Chris Tapp, front man and guitarist, and Brian Mullins, drummer. The two were previously members of other bands, but they came together and started making music.
They list their musical inspirations as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Clutch, Sex Pistols, Hendrix and more. It is definitely clear that Clutch is a major inspiration, especially in their newest album.
The Cold Stares currently have two albums, 2014’s A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind and 2017’s Head Bent, named for the second song on the album. The two albums total 24 songs and one hour and 20 minutes’ worth of foot tapping jams. Good luck sitting still through it.
Head Bent has several great songs. This album will have you ready to go anywhere and a need to get there fast. The most stand out song of the album, and possibly among all of the bands songs, is Break My Fall. The song is the story of an innocent man who has been sentenced to be hanged. The pace is slow and the acoustic guitar sets the mood perfectly. The drums, though quiet and used very sparingly, kick in at the perfect moment to really deliver the punch of the song.
In addition to their albums the group also has four Eps and five singles.
The first thing I noticed about The Cold Stares was their massive, and exciting sound. Every track had me wanting to hear more and I was immediately in love. The first song I heard was Head Bent and it wasn’t enough, I jumped onto Spotify and began my binge. At the end of it all my favorite song was Break My Fall. I’m partial to songs that tell stories and Break My Fall has a good one. As previously stated, it really stands out against their typical sound and leaves a great impression. Another great song is Ball and Twine. It tells a story of the Union Wars. The great storytelling is the biggest draw for me. While some bands tell stories through their music, it is what The Cold Stares are all about. The band has a great soulful sound and you can tell that the group puts a lot of heart into their work.
I give the Cold Stares 4.5 out of 5 stars, my only criticism is that they should stray from their typical sound like they do in Break My Fall a little more.
The Cold Stares can be heard on Spotify, iHeart Radio and TuneIn as well as YouTube. Their music is available for purchase on their website, thecoldstares.com, iTunes, and Amazon.