Mark Zellner - 'Floating Stone Songs'

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Mark Zellner - 'Floating Stone Songs'

Poor production values stops 'Floating Stone Songs' from becoming the album it has the potential to be.

What can be considered as Mark Zellner's first proper solo album was a long time coming. The experienced axeman has spent the last 20-odd years jumping through varying local bands playing everything from rock to nu-metal – with just about everything in between – and 'Floating Stone Songs' is the result.

The Ohio based guitarist clearly has a great feel for his instrument and is able to wrangle some truly exciting licks out of it, releasing all of his rock and metal expertise. 'Chicken Requisition' is an Ozzy-era Zakk Wylde exercise in riffing; 'Chug Island' does what it says on the tin with its stomping, hefty stoner rock riffs. Some great soloing breaks up the cyclical structures, sometimes even lighting a fire under some riffs looking for guidance. It all comes together for 'On We Go' with its understated, dreamy hard rock waves.

But poor production values stops 'Floating Stone Songs' from becoming the album it has the potential to be. At times it sounds like it was recorded in the cupboard under the stairs with a bass and drum combo that seem to be keeping their own time resulting in a horrid mash of noise. The well-below par 'Jack The System' sounds as if it was recorded on a practise amp. Added to this, Zellner's range of effects leaves much to be desired. The basic overdrive setting gets its money's worth and sometimes distortion is added to mistakenly make a dull lick sound good.

The reason all these things stand out so much is because under this detritus is a talented guitarist looking to stop floating around and truly plant his feet.

Dan Bond

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