When guitarists Dan Pellarin and Ben Cramer met in Miami as freshman in college in the halcyon days of 2010, the idea that the two music program students would start a globetrotting rock ‘n’ roll band was nothing more than a passing joke.
But after moving to New York just a year later, writing and recording Arc & Stones' debut EP in a sweatbox of a Brooklyn apartment, fleshing out the band with drummer Joey Doino, and moving out to Nashville in early 2014, Arc & Stones' pursuit of the soulful alt rockers’ ultimate goal — being the greatest rock band of all time — feels completely serious. Arc & Stones’ six-song EP, As You Were, out on June 10, reflects what Pellarin describes as “moments of a special year.”
Backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, the band hit the studio on August 13 of last year to record an “explosive yet cohesive” follow-up to their debut EP, infusing classic soul with a keen ear for the sound of today’s rock music. The six tracks that compose As You Were shape the record with taut guitar riffs, blue-eyed soulful vocals, and some strutting rock ‘n’ roll swagger. The familiar themes — battling through tough times on driving opener “Control,” the obligatory song about a girl with the tenderly emotional “Walking In,” and self-discovery on “Too Late” — stay true to genre conventions, and Arc & Stones both defy and embrace tradition.
The band’s tunes hearken back to rock ‘n’ roll’s heyday, but Arc & Stones infuses the EP with a panache that’s entirely crisp and new. Being the world’s greatest rock band is no easy feat, but with Arc & Stones’ trailblazing sophomore EP, it’s hard not to like their chances.