Louisville Music News - Shatterstone CD Review: This is a band that I have been raving about for a few years now. Shatterstone is the Payne brothers (Ricky and Rob) project. It's a rock 'n' roll ballad-y, metal-ish progressive entity that is in a category by itself here in Louevil. At first, when they appeared on the scene they got no love and were fighting to get shows/respect. Now I can gladly say that that has all changed.These days these Southern Indiana rockers are most likely the best band in town, in my opinion. These guys mix hooks, melody, killer musical chops and humor into one great rock show for the casual fan. I'm checking out their eponymous CD. The first tune, 'All That's Left Unsaid,' kicks off with some didgeridoo, then some cool picking until the vocals come in. The vocals reminds me of Tool a little bit too much on this. Even my guitar tech who was working on my axes walked in the room and said 'Is that new Tool?' Man, nowadays a lot of bands sound like Tool. It's not so much the music, but the vocals during the verse are definitely Maynard-ish. As far as musicianship goes, it doesn't get much better than Shatterstone. 'Bottom Of The World' starts off with a way cool guitar riff. Great beat. I especially like how the second verse comes in. The vocals of vocalist Ricky Payne are awesome, and have always been good, at every show. I don't think I've ever seen dude's voice crack live. He has a very powerful vocal range. Ever seen the movie Kung Fu Hustle? Ricky has the mythical Lion's Roar kung fu technique. Where does dawg get such a piercing and forceful larynx? Back to the song. It's good stuff even if a bit on the ballady side. 'Looking For Me?' is a song I like best so far. I love the orchestra sound in the beginning, I think it's a violin or cello, not sure. It's a good thing bassist Rob Payne is a genius at keyboards and stuff. Ricky really sounds good on this song vocally. BTW, Ricky plays guitar and sings at the same time, and does lead guitar work. Dude shreds. Okay, I like 'Laid You Down' even better. Such a hypnotizing rhythm and vocals really come across as powerful. Then a ripping solo. Hell, yeah. It's a short tune, but it kind of drills a hole in your head that plants a seed and that won't go away. Very catchy. 'Wicked Game' is a song I love. Yes, it is the Chris Isaak song that features the hot brunette on the beach with the clouds. This cover song is quite popular these days. My band Year Of The Gun does it, too. I do have to admit that Shatterstone kills our version, and I thought our version sounded good! They slowed it down a bit, especially during the verses. This song sounds great live, as does their 'Zombie' cover. Wow. The opening for 'The Emptiness That's Left' (the band's favorite song) sounds killer. I've never heard tuning in a recorded song before! How creative. Sounds cool! I'm digging the mean solo at the beginning, the pull-off slides, volume swells, and how the feedback leads into the chillaxin' vocals. Ricky has way too much soul for a white guy. The song has a lovely breakdown in it that features some beautiful sounding bass riffage that is badass. You can tell he has expensive - and fresh - strings on that mofo, too. Rob Payne is absolutely sick on bass guitar and plays it like a guitar. I think Rob has sex with his guitar every night and wipes it off every morning, because there is a love going on there that you don't see very often in the music business. Then Ricky plays the best guitar solo of the CD so far, one right up my alley. This song is amazing. 'Enemy' features sometimes guest vocalist Scott Schamel, and some serious volume swells or a long tremelo effect on the guitars. This one also reminds me of Tool. The chorus is pretty catchy, though. The two vocalists do mix well live, I've noticed. They should have Scott sing a little more. It adds a depth to already good music. The drums on this CD are awesome, but everybody knows that drummer Mitch Kirkpatrick wails. He is in the top five drummers in town, I would say. The sound quality at Krackerjack Studios sounds great, much better than when Year Of The Gun recorded there. That was almost two years ago, though. This is a great effort by a very talented Louisville band that stands out amongst it's peers. My only complaint is that the vocals seem to fall in a Tool-like pattern occasionally, yet at other times you don't hear the similarities at all. As good as this CD is, their live performance is where Shatterstone really comes to life. You've heard about the CD, but to experience Shatterstone, you gotta be there in front of the stage. Pro musicians, good reliable people to work with , and a breath of fresh air in this cities dark musical hour. Shatterstone rocks! - Eddy Metal.