Stone – “Stone” (1988)

StoneFinnish thrashers Stone first appeared on the scene with this eponymous debut in 1988.  Stone was first released by the Megamania label in Finland with the cover depicted on the left.  The album was also released in the U.S. on the MCA imprint Mechanic Records with a different cover.

Stone boasted a stout rhythm section that laid down a solid foundation, while guitarists Jiri Jalkanen and Roope Latvala provided the strong riff work.  I’ll have to say, Stone were a pretty good band.  I guess they would have to be for the U.S. to get a proper release of their first album.  It wasn’t everyday you came across a Finnish thrash album in the U.S. record shops of the late eighties.  The interesting thing about Stone was their odd vocals, which were supplied by bassist Janne Joutsenniemi.  Ol’ Janne sounded like an inebriated teenage waste-case — singing out-of-tune in broken English (and almost never rhyming).  Joutsenniemi’s performance gives the whole Stone album a sort of laid back, boozy vibe.  To me, this makes Stone a little different from the typical, ultra-serious tone that most thrash bands of the day hung their hat on.  Stone threw out the rule book, and I say good for them!  The Stone LP won’t go down as a classic in most books (except maybe in Finland), but it’s an interesting little curiosity to check out.  Standout cuts include Get Stoned and No Commands.  My score: B-

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