Studying Stones

Truth at 33rpm
(self-released)

Fran Scianna, best known for playing in local rock band The Sciannas with his brother Dan, decided he wanted to make a "deeper, more psychedelic sound" and left to form his own band, Studying Stones, which takes its name from the Ani DiFranco song about digging through one's family roots. The band calls its sound "Mod-Psych" or "Modern Psychedelic," but the songs on Truth at 33rpmdisplay touches of blues ("Remember You"), country ("Turn the Light"), and especially early '90s college radio rock ("Run Rabbit Run," "When It Ends"). But the "psychedelic" descriptor definitely fits tunes like "Tell My Mother," which features Jen Powelson's melodic lead vocals floating over ritualistic marching drums, clashing cymbals, and piano, and then drowning under an onslaught of pounding percussion that sounds like heavy machine-gun fire. There's also "Sound of the Door," a 10-plus-minute song that starts like a creeping Pink Floyd space-out with tippy-toe piano and slowly evolves into a catchy rock number. Not surprisingly, the most raucous rock moment on the CD is "Doppelganger," which features Fran's brother Dan and another member of The Sciannas, Paul Delareza, on guitars. But Truth at 33rpmdoesn't sound like a Sciannas record. It sounds more like a fantastic, you-should-be-there jam.

 
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