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Stereophonics - Language. Sex. Violence. Other


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 it constantly).

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 and Traffic.

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 again.

With Language. Sex. Violence. Other, Stereophonics' confirm their status as major players on the British music scene.

 

 

Track listing:
1. Superman
2. Doorman
3. Brother
4. Devil
5. Dakota
6. Rewind
7. Pedalpusher
8. Girl
9. Lolita
10. Deadhead
11. Feel

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