Last Stone Cast | Last Stone Cast (EP)

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Last Stone Cast (EP)

by Last Stone Cast

Straight up midwestern hard rock
Genre: Rock: Hard Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Blown Away
3:22 $0.99
2. More Again
4:32 $0.99
3. No Love For Me
3:54 $0.99
4. Only You
3:59 $0.99
5. Supposed To Be
2:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Last Stone Cast
By Martin Popoff (

The Players:
Scott McConnell – guitars and vocals
Jon Epstein – bass
Josh Lipply – drums

Tone, taste and tenacity.

Those are words invoked by the mighty ZZ Top in reference to their own pursuit of excellence, but they could just as easily apply to this classy new Cleveland, Ohio-based band, new, save for the fact that this particular tasty trio are veterans with all manner of hard rock experience behind them. Bassist in the band, local legend Jon Epstein, amusingly describes the Last Stone Cast sound as “the Midwest equivalent of southern rock.” And that makes perfect sense, given the above ZZ Top-derived characteristics within this long-awaited lead EP for the band.

First off, the production of Last Stone Cast is rich and creamy, with values and frequencies not heard since key, expensive, golden era Alice in Chains moments. Specifically, Scott’s guitars come drenched with electricity, but with a pleasing, rounded-off… tone and tenacity. Drummer Josh Lipply, despite some heroic fills and egregiously deep grooves, reacts in kind at the production end, mixed gorgeously with bleed, his cymbals clipped perfectly, especially so, given his chops-heavy, cymbal-mad style. Jon’s bass fits cozily within the intense brew, and then up top, man… Scott is a killer vocalist, anchored in a legacy between Gregg Allman and Zakk Wylde, but again, with judiciously applied modern rock stylings somewhat indicative of the best Seattle sounds. He can croon, he can roar, and he can obviously hit high notes when he wants to – which is not that often (one suspects he knows it’s not cool).

All told, it’s a heady mix, resulting in explosive tri-partite power trio chemistry, firing on all cylinders despite an astonishing variety of dynamic between and in an’ around this mere collection of five rock-solid anthems.

Epstein offers a little background on the band, beginning with the memorable name chosen for the project. “We were kicking around different band names, and somehow or another we started talking about relationships. Someone said something about casting the first stone. We changed it to Last Stone Cast because we figured that we didn’t want to throw the first one, but we would definitely throw the last.

The Cleveland band Fast Chester is a big part of why last Stone Cast is getting so much local (and actually European!) attention, from both printed press and radio. Epstein’s last band was yet another, but different, fiery act combining the best of an encyclopedic classic rock and metal knowledge, with current, visceral tones and emotions. And as is evidenced by the diverse touchstones charging this galvanizing collection…

“My tastes and influences run from Rush, Warrior Soul, Last Crack, Marillion, Slayer to Tribe After Tribe,” notes Jon. “Scott is basically ‘80s-influenced - Van Halen is one of his faves. Josh, being 20 years younger than Scott and I, is more influenced by recent bands; he’s a big Shinedown fan.”

As for the cover art, says Jon, “I wanted something that connected us to our Ohio roots, hence the flag. Cleveland is the home of rock ‘n’ roll after all, and we’re proud of that. Josh likes steer skulls, and the bleeding rose is an allusion to how hard love can be. The hole in the steer’s head is from the last stone cast (laughs).”

Further fleshing out this fortuitous meeting of the local rock establishment, Jon explains that, “Scott has been active on the local scene here in Ohio for years. He was in Avitar, Meltdown and Ripcored. Ripcored was written up in Garry Sharpe Young’s New Wave Of American Heavy Metal book. Josh is 24 and has played with quite a few of the better musicians in Akron, blues guitarist Hurricane James being the most well-known. He came highly recommended to me by Frankie Garisto, the new drummer for American Dog, formerly of The Godz. Josh and Scott were basically the house band at the bar I owned in Akron last year, called Crossroads. The three of us played together every Wednesday at jam night. At the time they were both in a cover band called Meltdown. Their bass player quit at the same time that I was leaving Fast Chester. We wanted to make music that was both interesting to us and would appeal to a broader audience than Fast Chester had... girls specifically (laughs).”

Indeed the tracks enclosed have that elusive universal appeal, being tough and riffy and guitary yet hook-heavy, especially come the immense “Only You.”

“Our fans call this ‘the chick song,’” laughs Epstein. “It’s a song about realizing just how much your significant other means to you, and how hard it is to say.” Scanning the rest of the EP, Jon reveals that “’Blown Away’ is a song about trying to deal with a former lover’s uncaring attitude during a break-up - it’s a song of exasperation. ‘More Again’… I wrote the lyrics to this song while in a detox unit in Evansville, Indiana – I’m much better now! (laughs). The riff was something Scott had been tossing around for awhile. We liked the juxtaposition of the mellow arpeggio with the heavy almost nu-metal chorus.”

“More Again” is indeed a winner, even if it’s one of the more subdued tracks on the album. A rich and epic southern rock vibe spills out of this one, until huge doom riffs turn it fresh and multi-dimensional. Following this section, the verse becomes juiced with guitars and a classic yet electrocuted dark ballad is born.

“No Love For Me” brings it back down for more of a melodic track with huge radio potential. Says Jon, “This is a song that Scott had been messing with for 20 years, but never actually finished. It was a riff he played on acoustic. When he played it for me I really liked it. Not a whole lot of hard rock in C sharp minor! It’s about realizing that you are not, and will never be, who you think you are to a lover.”

Closing the EP is a party-hard riff rocker with a number of sublime melodies, its riff gorgeous, again, of tone, with an excellent vocal melody from Scott placed on top. Again, one can hear the neurons firing between these guys, with Josh throwing in some novel double bass as well as… cowbell? “True story,” quips Jon. “My girlfriend Deb asked us to write a song with a cowbell in it. I had been listening to American Dog. Bingo!”

And despite the sturdiness of song all over, it’s not inconceivable – and even productive and fully pleasurable - to work one’s way through this EP simply marveling at individual performances. Asked to call out a few of his favourite moments among the tracks, Jon says, “My fave bass part is probably the diddly bit between the bridge and chorus in ‘Blown Away.’ Either that or the second verse of ‘Only You.’ A key drum part has got to be the roll Josh does right after the ‘I taste you’ in the breakdown at the end of ‘Only you.’ It’s awesome, man. Vocally I really like what Scott did with ‘Blown Away,’ the juxtaposition between the melodic vocal line and the metal scream - works great. Guitar part? I love the ‘bad horsey’ outro in ‘Blown Away- a real Steve Vai moment.”

“We basically recorded the rhythm tracks live,” adds Jon, with respect to getting such an authentic and warm sound, start to finish. “I punched in three small bass glitches. The only ‘cool’ stuff was the doubled bass tracks… something I always do. One clean, the other with effects and distortion. It makes it thicker but still articulate. Other than that, the vocals were all first take except ‘Supposed To Be’ which I had Scott do twice. The doubled vocals were first take as well. All the solos were also first takes. I did the whole thing, including mixing, in 15 hours.”

It’s all looking promising for this obviously efficient and seasoned trio of dependable rock warriors. Despite career ties to the area, it looks like the band will do what it takes to get the word out.

“We are serious,” says Epstein, with respect to the prospect of touring. “We want to get to Europe by next summer. This summer we are concentrating on the American Midwest, and possibly New England. We are also looking into Southern Ontario. We are currently trying to set up a circuit with a couple other bands, most notably American Dog and Broken Teeth.”

Epstein has no reservations about creative converts who come out to see the shows. “We’re very good live. Our CD release party was broadcast live over the Classic Metal Show last week. Scott is an outstanding front man; he really knows how to connect with an audience. Both he and Josh spent a great deal of time in cover bands doing the three set a night thing so they are very, very tight. Josh also did time in a Garth Brooks tribute band. And these songs cut through and connect. No, I don’t think there’s any problem at all, as you say ‘creating converts’ (laughs).”

With the band’s full-length debut in the works as we speak (Jon is co-producing the album with Billy Morris, using Cleveland’s esteemed Lava Room), it looks to be a busy year for this hard yet hook-proud Midwest classic rock machine. And as Jon promises catch Last Stone Cast live, and you’ll become a believer indeed.

Last Stone Cast EP (2007)

The Songs:
1 - Blown Away (3:22)
2 – More Again (4:32)
3 – No Love For Me (3:54)
4 – Only You (3:59)
5 – Supposed To Be (2:54)

Recorded at the Lava Room, Cleveland, Ohio
Produced by Jon Epstein, Billy Morris and Last Stone Cast



to write a review

Michael Evans Project

Powerful, catchy, enjoyable
My favorite tune is of course Blown Away. Hards rockin, driving and well balanced. Then More An Again comes on with a different sound and good mix and vocals. The whole cd kicks butt and is well worth adding to the collection.

It is evident that these guys are a real band with good talent and a desire to lay it down. You cant fake good music... its that simple and this is good music. If you like hard rock with flavor...... then this cd is for you.


This is an Extremely Powerful Band
This is an extremely powerful band! They put a lot of passion and power into their music, you can tell. Everything from the drums, to the bass, to the vocals, and to the slashing guitar riffs screams, We're Last Stone Cast, we're serious, and we're bad ass!

The song "No Love For Me" starts out kind of mellow, aside from the vocals. Those are some very powerful vocals. Those are vocals you can feel! This is music I'd listen to if I'm trying to get pumped up for a show myself, or driving down the road trying to stay awake!

The drummer is great. You hear all the intricate fills and detail he adds to the music, and I love the sound of the snare actually. The vocals as I said are super powerful, the only thing there is there are a couple notes that sound like he may be struggling to hit, BUT, before you get mad at me, LSC fans, it's still an awesome voice and for this genre, you're almost required to try and hit notes out of your range, that's what makes is HARD ROCK!

The lead guitarist needs to go back to school though, I heard all kinds of problems... KIDDING. I like to get your blood pressure going! The lead guitarist is fanTAStic, however there is one serious problem in which I will explain next.

Unfortunately, since you guys are so talented and have lead guitar riffs in your music, you won't ever be played on pop radio stations. I know you're sad about that, but it's the truth. They only play fake, crappy, anti-feeling music on the radio, most of the time.

Scene Magazine. Cleveland,Ohio

A HArd Rock TOur De Force
Witness the next phase of the ongoing '80s revival: the return of hair rock. Last Stone Cast is a new power trio anchored by bassist Jon Epstein. Formerly of retro-rockers Fast Chester, Epstein finally has the chance to show what he sounds like when he's not smothered in four pounds of guitar-Gouda. If you've ever argued that Kiss' no-makeup era is underrated, Last Stone Cast is your new reason to get out more often.

Drummer Josh Lipply and Scott McConnell also logged time in Meltdown and Ripcored. And on LSC's debut EP, McConnell's melodic yearning approximates Paul Stanley's swoon, with his pipes getting a workout on "Only You" and "More Again." Both those cuts have get-your-lighter-up-there power-ballad moments, but the latter is a hard rock tour de force that shows off the band's underdeveloped ability to get heavy. "Supposed to Be" throws some cowbell in the mix, making the upcoming full-length sound like a sure bet.

Swede (FatCat Radio Network)

Rock still alive in 2007
Last Stone Cast's much anticipated 'stop gap' debut EP proves that yes, ROCK still lives in 2007. These aren't a bunch of kids with computers and guitars or some hacks relying on the 'magic' of ProTools. Nope - Last Stone Cast is real rock made by real live musicians. Imagine that ! Strong musicianship throughout the EP. Big hooks and memorable choruses as well. Stand out tracks include 'Blown Away' and 'Supposed To Be'. If you like hard rock with a tinge of 80's metal LSC is right up your alley. One Angry Swede, Founder of The FatCat Radio Network (