Stereophonics: Graffiti on the Train

18 Mar


Welsh rockers Stereophonics have finally returned with their first album in four years, Graffiti on the Train, and while it doesn’t quite scratch my itch for the band it’s an undeniably accomplished album.

Singer/songwriter Kelly Jones is in his usual fine form, blending his trademark gravel voice with bittersweet lyrics in a work that is his most mature to date. Bar blues heart breaker Caught Cheating is as fine a song as he has produced since the glory days of Language. Sex. Violence. Other? but could perhaps have done without the “authentic” bar sounds; whoops, hollers and even glass clinks (imagining the lot of them huddled on stools in the recording studio clinking glasses and forcing bar grunts in front of mics doesn’t bear thinking about).

The real trouble is that the album is just a little too slick and polished for a band that has staked its reputation on gutsy guttural pop rock anthems like Dakota and The Bartender and the Thief. So marketably smooth is Graffiti on the Train that were it to be marketed as an album by Train I doubt anyone would doubt its authenticity, and that just ain’t cricket for a band that it as lovably rough around the edges as Stereophonics. Here’s hoping they rough it up a little next time round.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: