By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Soulful Aussie hard-rock quartet Stonefield returns to the Bay Area for its first headlining show in the Crystal Cavern at the Starline Social Club in Oakland Thursday night.
Made up of the four Findley sisters — Amy on drums and lead vocals, Hannah on lead guitar, Sarah on keyboards and Holly on bass guitar — the musicians have been has been making their hypnotic style of psychedelic hard rock since they first started playing as teens under the name Iotah in their small rural Victoria town of Darraweit Guim in 2006.
The girls spent their formative years refining a sound that nodded heavily to Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin (much like their countrymen Wolfmother) while still drawing on more modern desert rock elements that showcased Amy’s powerful pipes, Hannah’s knack for writing heavy guitar riffs and the sisters’ nuanced harmony vocals. After the group won a Triple J radio contest for high school students in 2010 with their song “Foreign Lover” that earned them national airplay in Australia, they switched their name to Stonefield. The band made enough noise in their native country that they were invited to play the Glastonbury Festival in England the following year.
Eventually signed to Aussie independent label Illusive Records, Stonefield issued their debut EP Bad Reality in 2012, followed by the band’s first eponymous full-length album in 2013. The foursome would take their time making their sophomore effort, finishing As Above, So Below in 2016. Embracing a more atmospheric style of fuzzed-out psychedelia without abandoning their affection for propulsive grooves and ear-pleasing hooks, the band raised its profile even further with the recording.
By the time Stonefield released its third album Far From Earth in 2018, the band had made the move to King Gizzard’s Flightless Records imprint. Recorded in Los Angeles with Black Mountain leader Stephen McBean producing, the new material added more of a Pink Floyd influence to the band’s stew of psychedelic sounds. The quartet also embarked on its most extensive touring outside of Australia yet, spending a solid part of the year on the road in the U.S. and Europe.
After writing another batch of new songs while traveling the globe, the group recorded it’s latest effort BENT in the space of five days with Stu Mackenzie and Joe Walker from King Gizzard at their Melbourne studio. Stonefield joined King Gizzard on the band’s summer tour of the U.S., helping fill out an all-Australian psych bill that also included opening power trio ORB and played two sold-out nights at SVN West in August. For this headlining show at the Starline Social Club’s intimate Crystal Cavern on Thursday night, the ladies of Stonefield will be joined by like-minded Los Angeles psych band Hooveriii.
Thursday, Feb. 13, 9 p.m. $13-$15
Starline Social Club Crystal Cavern