Doublestone are three nice boys from Denmark, who have some of the most Scandinavian sounding names in the world – Bo and Kristian Blond on guitar and vocals and bass and vocals respectively and Michael Bruun on drums. The band and the rest of the music world seem to have them pinned as a stoner rock band, but I can’t quite fathom why myself.
The rather jaunty ‘Save Our Souls’ conjures hairy retro laddishness, all sideburns and faded denims. More young men playing their dad’s record collections. Next up, ‘Bringer of Light’ is proggier with a Deep Purple-ish organ sound and now you’re realising that The Datsuns second album is a handy reference point. Despite the subtle appropriation of many hard rock styles across this album what Doublestone most remind me of is good old NWOBHM.
This band would be best witnessed down The Ruskin Arms with a pint of Harp circa 1979. Nothing wrong with that of course but I do have my reservations about Doublestone. The vocals of Bo Blond are a bit flat, and after a few numbers I notice prefer it when he’s not singing. On title track “Wingmakers” his parts seem to anchor the band to mediocrity and it’s only when the guitar solo kicks in that the song really takes flight. Again on ‘Storm Is Coming’ where he is asked to display his full range he often fudges and misses both the top and lower range, swallowing the notes and doing a disservice to the drama of the music. The band do however have a certain good humoured loose-limbed charm shared with many Scandinavian rock n’ roll bands and every song no matter the lyrical subject seems to be performed with a smile and a nod.
Speaking of the lyrics – ‘Born Under A Hollow Moon’ gradually impresses when you get your head around the subject. It seems at first to tackle Denmark’s Norsemen past with lines like – ‘descended from heretics’ and ‘our churches we burn, they say’ but then appears to be mixing the misdeeds of the past with those of the present in quite a clever way.
Doublestone have certainly dusted down some vintage riffs on tracks like ‘In The Forest’ but have not really polished them up enough to reinvigorate the sound. I do like the swing on ‘Fire Down Below’ and it’s almost southern rock guitar runs, emphasising the subtle patchwork of styles on what at first seems a bunch of no nonsense boogie songs. “Wingmakers” is a hard album to actively dislike if you are a veteran rock fan but I’m not misty-eyed enough to forgive their rather obvious short-comings.