Stereophonics - Graffiti on the Train

by Lewis Shepherd Rating:6 Release Date:2013-03-04

Being Welsh I was brought up on the likes of Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers and Catatonia. So when I found out the 'Phonics were releasing their first album in nearly four years, the biggest gap between any of their album releases, I was pretty excited. As a massive fan, I was a bit dubious about listening to the album at first because, let's be honest, the first two singles from the album, 'Indian Summer' and the title track, didn't exactly set the charts alight. Also, you can pretty much guess what the album sounds like as they've been around for ages. You know what to expect.

Of course, album number eight doesn't buck this assumption, but with Kelly Jones' vocals sounding as strong and gravelly as ever, coupled with their mix of sadness and upbeat melancholy, the record isn't entirely rubbish. Despite the first two singles bombing, there are some really good tracks on the album, such as 'Catacomb', 'Roll the Dice' and 'We Share the Same Sun', which try to recapture the best of the 'Phonics back-catalogue. However, this is counteracted by some pretty Goddamn awful tracks, like 'Take Me' and 'Violins and Tambourines', which are just dribbling messes of moping and tedium.

Although the album isn't the best one they've made, it is something you can listen to and enjoy. The band mix it up between complete depression, happy-yet-sad songs and angst-ridden, guitar-driven tracks. The vocals from Kelly are the highpoint but there isn't a stand out song at all, which is disappointing. Overall, an alright listen.

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