Doing hard rock in America these days puts most bands between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand you've got snobbish independent alt rock hipsters who demand that you don't do anything commercial or mainstream. On the other hand, you have the labels, indie or major, who want to force feed to the masses whatever feeds the latest trends and lines their pocketbooks. Either way, if you don't fit the cliche, then you're often screwed, and so also are listeners. You have to give Philadelphia's Stop the Word their due: I think they're giving the middle finger to both camps. Their debut disc, Feeding on the Empty is a solid and entertaining platter of melodic hard rock that shows some individual creativity upon sound foundations.
While Stop the World wants to bring you simple solid hard rock, their vision of it doesn't go much farther back than 20 years or so. Feeding on the Empty has a gutsy rock feel that has significant roots in nineties music. On Enemy, Strangeman, or Suicide Love Machine you will notes of Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains or even more modern Velvet Revolver (which is merely a throwback as well.) Firewater and Rainmaker, two very ambitious and entertaining songs, rekindle a little of The Cult. Yet, as every band has their influences, Stop the World twists and turns their influences to their own way for a fresh and rewarding sound; it's melodic, raucous, and certainly atypical modern rock. Feeding on the Empty gets kudos for exceptional musicianship and a crisp production. You would not know it to look at him with his burly biker bouncer frame, but Albert Lepore is a crackin' good vocalist with a versatile style. Feeding on the Empty makes me a fan of Stop the World's retro-modern hard rock groove. It's a versatile offering of deliberate and creative hard rock. Quite recommended!