Review by Sylvie Marie & Staff
If you've been waiting for an EP of substance in 2023, the wait is over. Deacon Stones's "Who Set The World on Fire" will ignite your mind with meaning, message, and music that won't smolder any time soon. Deacon Stone is Rick Drevet on guitar, bass, and keys; Mark Pappalardo on drums; and Jakey Heartbreak and Jennah Cogan on vocals. The title track, "Who Sets the World on Fire", is out the gate with a song that rips the roof off of hate, inequality, and discrimination and fills the house with love. This song has it all. Lyrics that don't hold back, a passionate vocal performance, and tight musicianship. After a quick and tight drum roll, "Who Set the World on Fire," commences with a rock guitar riff that vibes a bit like Hendrix interspersed with cleanly executed lead licks as the theme is introduced. "What's my label, you calling me a liar. To many fables, who set the world on fire?" The chorus calls upon a classic rock anthem with a highly memorable hook that explodes off the record. The bridge section is where the band's songwriting chops excel with an unexpected story-telling section that elevates the song's mood with hope for better times ahead through. "Don't harvest all the hate. Don't surrender to the bait." A melodic guitar solo is heard in the background taking the song to new heights. This song's raw and straightforward message is a game-changer.
Next up is the ever-engaging song, "Daddy." This song has a quiet intensity enhanced by the mellow sounds of a flute and acoustic guitar strumming "Daddy" is enveloped in an Americana storytelling setting sung by Jenn's emotive, alto-rich vocals.
The song unfolds with the sweet sound of children playing. The scene could be in anyone's home. Parents are sending their kids to school and all the usual tasks of a crisp fall morning are in full gear. Dad's waking up the kids, and Mom is making breakfast, They get on the bus. Kisses and waves goodbye leave a happy feeling, but as soon as the bus fades away...the song takes a sharp turn.
Putting "Daddy" in the middle of the EP was a brilliant move. As the first song hits hard with a message of treating each other with dignity and respect. "Daddy" reminds us that every interaction could be out last. Life is fleeting and nothing last forever. At this point, the song picks up. The drums get heavier and the guitar follows suit while Jenna moves into a higher range. The reaper has arrived. The lyrics keep you riveted from beginning to end. The guitar weeps and listeners may find themselves grabbing a box of Kleenex while they think of their own families and just how precious love is.
"We never think, that tomorrow won't come
We're so busy with today
We're never ready, for the final strum
Maestro please continue to play"
The EP ends with "Remember When" and it's a classic southern-rock banger that pays tribute to the days when rock bands were Gods playing huge stadiums in epic towns. They could write songs that became the soundtrack of your life.
"Remember When You were Sweet Child O'Mine Remember when It was Doctor Feelgood
Remember when Mama begged Johnny Be Good."
The song does so much more than name off a list of bands. Musically, it is so dam clever that it has to be one of the best tribute songs I've heard as it manages to play the styles of so many greats and weave it all together in one completely cohesive sound that will take you down memory lane with gratitude that there are bands like Deacon Stone who not only call upon the greats but keep that sense of musical awe and purpose alive.
Keep up with the latest on the band at deaconstoneband.net