November 12th, 2015 Stick Figure – Set In Stone (ALBUM REIVEW)

Set in Stone couldn’t be a more appropriate name for Stick Figure’s Sixth Studio Album.   I’m pretty sure at one point at the end of 2014, I sent a message to Scott about 2015 being the year of Stick Figure.  I’ve been a fan from the beginning.  I remember the release of Burnin’ Ocean like it was yesterday.  Seeing a band grow, is a fascinating experience.  It has shown me that Scott Woodruff is a genuine guy, who I have the utmost respect for because he has only grown into an even more encouraging and positive person and hasn’t let this increased popularity get to him. When I see other people at other reggae shows wearing Stick Figure gear,  I think to myself, “Finally!”.  Stick Figure is hear to stay  because Scott Woodruff has created his own original blend of roots reggae music and the gentleman  in his band share the same respect and heart for the up and coming house hold name.   Stick Figure can’t be compared to any other artist in the scene.  When you hear a Stick Figure song and are familiar with the scene, you aren’t wondering who it is.   The last two years for the band have been an incredible journey.  In January 2014 they were part of the Winter Blackout Tour with The Expendables and Seedless. In the summer of 2014, Stick Figure was a supporting act on the Count Me In Tour featuring Rebelution, The Green and Iration. In 2015 Stick Figure headlined their own fall tour with HIRIE and Pacific Dub and also toured the summer with Slightly Stoopid and The Dirty Heads, which included their first time playing at the world renowned Red Rocks Amphitheater.  “The best night of my life,  I couldn’t stop smiling.” – Scott Woodruff.  Now they are currently back on the road with Slightly Stoopid on their Fall Tour. Be sure to hit a show in your area, as you may be one of the lucky ones  to see Kyle McDonald of Slightly Stoopid kill it on “Choice Is Yours” a track he is featured on off the new album Set in Stone. The Set In Stone Album Release Tour kicks off January 14 in Sacramento!  Don’t Miss it!

The opening track may sound familiar, debuted on as Stick Figure’s first ever official music video titled Fire on the Horizon. A beautifully constructed track,  with a mesmerizing beat created by hard hitting thimbles layered keys and guitar and includes a nice guitar solo.   In This Love is love at first listen, this beat is my favorite on the album.  So relaxing, I’m waiting for it to be played on the Sandles commercial.  Layered with perfectly placed percussion and key work accompanied by Woodruffs vocals, it’s a crowd pleasure for sure.  Sound of the Sea, may be my favorite track off the album as a whole.  The opening has echos of the past hit,  Livin’ It off the successful 2009 release Smoke Stack with Woodruffs cozy hums that seem to blend perfectly into this track.  When I first heard it, I spent hours with it on repeat.   I drove around my town at 2:00 am jamming the track.  With thought provoking, catchy lyrics like  “If the sun is getting closer, why does it feel so cold”.   And  “I’m thinking but my minds not listening.” it just pulls you in.    I pulled into a Royal Farms and this younger dude came up to my car and was like dude who is this, I love it.   I said it’s Stick Figure, but this album doesn’t come out till next month.  But be sure to check out his other albums.   That’s how sick this song is. Choice Is Yours (feat. Slightly Stoopid) The second single off the album where Kyle McDonald kills it on the mic, an up lifting tune guitar and percussion driven, a very catchy number.   Mind Bock (feat. Eric Rachmany of Rebelution) a slower track with a hard bass and a throw back to “Keep the vibes alive”.    The back and fourth with Woodruff and Rachmany is a real treat in this track.   It’s like if Rebelution and Stick Figure had a baby, this is the track they would produced, I sound like Jack Black right now, don’t I.    Sentenced is an incredible track, a cover, re-worked, sounding like an original.  Scott amplifies the keys on this track, very clean and Scott’s vocals are killer in this tune and he even adds his own part to the song to make it more of his own.   It doesn’t matter what this kid covers, he doesn’t just do it justice but he brings a forgotten gem back to life or introduces something fresh and unheard to those who are less verse in old school reggae.  And for that, we thank you sir.  Out The Door has a fast beat to it,  “Give me one good reason to love you, part of the chorus in this tune and a nice added guitar solo.  Weary Eyes is  a great tune, first played on the Fall of 2014 tour .  Scott kills it vocally on this one.  Keys and percussion driven, a rad one for sure. Smokin’ Love (feat Collie Buddz) the first single, which released on June 3rd, 2014 just days after hearing it live at the most popular reggae festival in the country, California Roots Festival. Probably one of the most catchiest tunes Woodruff has written lyrically. Shadow another one of my favorites, the beat is tantalizing and will have you head bobbing.  The opening lyrics hit hard and yet again Woodruff’s vocals shine brightOne of Those Days is one of the slower songs on the album, vocally driven and has an awesome guitar solo towards the end.   All My Love,  it’s finally here people, we can stop listening to the youtube version from Bali, Indonesia when Scott Traveled the world to write Burial Ground.   He has finally delivered us with a studio version of this beautiful track.   Sunshine and Rain was a poem Scott had written many years before.   He decided to bring it in the studio for a tune up and turned out quite nice. Smiles on Faces (feat. KBong) is an up lifting track to leave you with a smile,  starts out with a slow introduction echoing in the background and then boom, “What puts a smile on your face?,  what makes you happy?” Woodrufff asks.   Fastest vocal track on the album.  Scott and KBong  do a great job complementing each other on the track.

Three years in the making, fourteen killer tracks, four guest vocals.   All on one album.  I know the fans new and old will dig this one for sure as much as I have.   Cheers to Scott, KBong, Tommy and Kevin for the new release as a band.  Excited to hear some of the new material on tour!

by: Ryan McKeldin

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