A Stone’s Throw Away is the glorious sound of a rhythm section centering tastefulness and synergy in their playing. Simplicity is key here; the listener is never at any point overwhelmed with sound, and the musicians make a point of ceding space to each other whenever needed. This creates a unique feeling of cleanliness, by removing all superfluous clutter in the arrangements and ensuring no ideas are suppressed.
Concerning the ideas present on the album, it’s a goldmine of infectious melody writing. It is quite the feat that across 11 tracks (all of which were composed by guitarist Ron Ledoux and arranged by bassist Gilbert Joanis), neither the qualities of originality nor sophistication diminish in the slightest. It’s truly one of those albums that leaves an indelible enough impression to the point where the entire track list is immediately singable upon initial exposure. From the tenderness of Windmills to the unison guitar/bass chorus in Get It Out of Here, the consistency is astounding. The phrases are structured in a way that they possess a vague sense of familiarity and nostalgia, almost making it feel like these songs have existed since the beginning of time.
The band’s approach to improvising complements the existing moods perfectly, opting for concision and clarity as points of emphasis. Joanis and drummer Rich Irwin’s musical bond borders on the clairvoyant at times and adds another level of vitality to the music.