Review: Jack Foley
THEY continue to have their critics, but Stereophonics are gradually
putting together a body of work to rival the best of British bands
- either in the past or present.
Language. Sex. Violence. Other, their latest, quite
possibly rates among the finest work of their career to date,
mixing things up a little to combine moments of angry, volatile
rock with electro-tinged workouts such as current single, Dakota.
So much is different about this album that it quite possibly
represents the dawning of a new era.
For starters, there is the presence of a new drummer, in the
form of the Argentine, Javier Weyler, as well as a new falsetto
vocal style for Kelly Jones, which is bound to provoke comparisons
with The Charlatans of the Wonderland
era (unlike Tim Burgess, however, Jones doesn't seek to employ
The result is a giddily intoxicating blend of styles that emerge
as emotive as the album title itself.
Opening track, Superman, for instance, sets the ball
rolling in super-confident style.
According to the publicity, Jones wrote this track first and
was so blown away by its power that he decided to write the rest
of the album with the same 'super-affirmative' attitude.
The guitar riffs, especially, register strongly and are subsequently
employed to scintillating effect throughout the album.
While the intensity of some of the early tracks is matched by
the ferocity of the language - with Doorman, in particular,
containing lines such as 'you like nothing more than to break
my face/ You like to throw me out on the street.'
Elsewhere, there is room for some quieter stuff, such as the
happy-sad hooks of Rewind, which find Jones' vocals at
their most melancholic and addictive. It is during this beautiful
track that Weyler's drums get a notable workout.
Pedalpusher, too, is another stand-out, with Jones vocals
at their most drawled, and the guitars at their rawest, while
the weeping strains of Lolita will probably appeal most
to early fans, who grew up on the likes of I'm Just Looking
Make no mistake, though, Language. Sex. Violence. Other
is more about looking to the future than dwelling in the past.
As such, it's capable of appealing to a new army of listeners,
while also pleasing the faithful and forcing the critics to think
With Language. Sex. Violence. Other, Stereophonics'
confirm their status as major players on the British music scene.