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4.3 out of 5 stars54
4.3 out of 5 stars
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2007
Give it time el-duderino! This one really gets under your skin. I agree that some of the lyrics might be perceived as weak on first listen, but when you consider that Kelly is simply making a matter of fact commentary about the "state of things" (as with Daisy Lane) the surface simplicty of the words seem less crude and much more poignant.

There are some great rock songs on this record. Soldires Make good targets, I could Lose Ya and Ladyluck are classics and Bank Holiday Monday is a really dirty, pacy track which takes us all back to a certain time in our life. The storytelling approach to some of the songs ("pound a can in the garden all day") reminds me of word gets around in some ways, but the point is this isn't Word Gets Around or any of their other albums. The strength of the Phonics is that they are constantly evolving and not afraid to change. Its easy to stick to a winning formula and keep churning out the same stuff every two years but this band don't do that. They have a real range from dark rock, to blues to even touches of country. The thing is it works. Music critics are a tired bunch who contrary to their own beliefs are simply "sheep in wolves clothing". They purport to want something different, edgy etc but what they really want is a band that ticks their vision of what cool is. I'm havin it!!!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2007
This is a great effort from the 'Phonics. I've been a solid fan of their stuff since 'Word Gets Around' was released back in 1997. The 'Phonics were at their peak during that album, and parts of 'Performance and Cocktails' in 1999. After that, things took a turn for the worst collectively, and we were beginning to see signs of improvement on their previous album, 'Language. Sex. Violence. Other?' but not enough. It was disappointing overall, so they had a point to prove with this album, their sixth studio album, titled 'Pull The Pin'.

And what do I make of it?

It's obviously a very guitar-driven album, with some tracks standing out above others. Looks like Kelly has found some decent riffs here, and his songwriting is as original as it was in the early days. The 'Phonics went through something of a transition period after Stuart Cable's departure and the introduction of Javier Weyler.

And it's now that the transition is being completed. 'Pull The Pin' is a storming album. It's accomplished, varied and sounds good vocally and musically. Kelly and the boys have done a good job here.

'Soldiers Make Good Targets' is an excellent intro track, into 'Pass The Buck' and then the soulful 'It Means Nothing'. 'Bank Holiday Monday' is obviously a favourite during live shows, and 'Daisy Lane' is a decent offering. 'Stone' represents a bigger, more anthemic sound, maybe something of a 'U2' influence creeping in there somewhere. 'My Friends' is an excellent song, as is 'I Could Lose Ya'. The acoustic 'Bright Red Star' quietens things down, and it might lack a little creativity on occasions, but the guitaring is spot on and Kelly's voice as prominent as ever. 'Lady Luck' is heavily distorted, it could probably do with being a little less heavy, but 'Crush', which follows it is a pleasant surprise. The closer, 'Drowning' is a classic 'Phonics track, and closes off this album with a good vibe.

So ten years on, looks like Kelly Jones and Richard Jones haven't done too bad at all. Highly recommended. 9/10.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2007
This is a MEGA album! I loved "Drowning" immediately, but my favourite track is "Ladyluck". Listen to it once, then again and again and again and I guarantee you will love it - even better than Dakota...... The Phonics just never disappoint and I can't wait to see them at Cardiff - bring it on!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2008
I love this band, partly because each of their albums is so different and they constantly evolve and yet remain unmistakably the 'Phonics. Word Gets Around and Performance & Cocktails have been their best albums for a long time...until now. Pull the Pin is right up there. Having not heard any of the songs (yes, I live under a rock) beforehand, I was a bit worried about ordering this album after LSVO? (Dakota was really the only good song on that very lazy album). I needn't have worried...I loved Pull the Pin on the first listen.

Yes, it's sad that Stuart got sacked, but Javier is a lightyears more talented drummer...he's excellent and really drives the music whilst throwing in some killer whatever-drumming-bits-are-called (are they riffs, or is that just guitarspeak?). Kelly's voice is as hot as ever...that crescendo at the end of It Means Nothing is phenomenal. Daisy Lane is beautiful. All the songs are great.

This is a great album by a great band. If you buy it and are disappointed, you're a weirdo! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2007
First off people as the question where is vegas two times?, try soldiers make good targets, where is bartender?, try pass the buck......people should stop harking back to old albums, it always happens to bands who have amazing first 1 or 2 albums.People have to take it for what it is, Stereophonics have been around for 10 years now and this is another great album to add to their back catalogue.

The album listens straight through very well, a nice mix of fast, mid and slow songs. It means nothing was a poor choice for the first single, apart from some great lyrics it is fairly monotonous.The amount of potential singles here is huge, thats why there is talk of 5 off this album. Pass the buck, stone, bank holiday monday, stone, lady luck, drowning and soldiers make good targets cud all be singles.

Definitely on a par with the great language sex violence other? and they keep moving in the right direction.All in all this alum will be in yor top 3 albums of 2007 if yoiu buy it, well done lads and kepp them coming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2007
I saw this band live in May this year (having owned all of their previous albums and being a fan for many years) and they were absolutely fantastic!

Having acquired the latest offering, 'Pull the Pin', I wasn't initially blown away as with previous albums (I suppose I was comparing it to the previous albums without realising!). However it is one of those albums that takes quite a few listens to get into but once I found myself familiarising myself with the tracks, I now love it!

Bank Holiday Monday is a classic piece of rock from Kelly and the boys and the new single 'It Means Nothing' is incredibly catchy and I find myself playing it all the time (is it just me!?). Every song on this album is great in its own way and I can't see any 'Phonics fans not finding at least something on here that they like - I just happen to like it all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2007
I'm on my third listen now and am starting to get a feel for the album. Its not an album that on first or even second listen you think wow this is as good as Performance and Cocktails, and certainly there aren't the type of songs which make your hairs stand on end like Im just Looking, Mr Writer or Hurry Up & Wait (personal faves) but there might be after I've seen them live and see what they do with the songs.
I think they could have put more effort into some of them, I like the mixture of rocky songs and slower ones and it finishes on a high so I imagine it will do well if people listen to it more.
Better than LSVO for me, that was a real disappointment, and think it will be a great album for them to perform live. Some of the lyrics are very basic and Kellys voice isnt really put to the test that much, but i still love 'em!
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on 21 January 2011
After estblishing themselves as a great rock band with their first two LP's, Stereophonics went off the rails and gained a slightly unfair reputation for being somewhat dull thanks to Kelly Jones' decision to use the band's next two albums for almost entirely acoustic material. Then they shocked the rock world in 2005 by unleashing "Language, Sex, Violence, Other?" - an anashamed rock record which was effortlessly cool and had the band back firmly to the form which made them rock's favourite band.

"Pull The Pin" is the follow-up record to this LP and, unfortunately, sees the band basically cash in on the success of their previous LP and coast for the majority on the back of their new-found cool.

Don't be fooled by the negative reviews from critics, however, one thing any rock fan will tell you is that since Stereophonics' 2001 ode to celebrity journalists "Mr. Writer" they have been absolutely panned by every media 'expert' around after striking a raw nerve with the track. However, this doesn't mean they are entirely wrong. "Pull The Pin" simply doesn't stand up to it's predecessor in any way and although we get a few brightspots it's not an album any Stereophonics fan will be classing as their favourite.

The good thing about Jones & co remains that even if this album isn't their best we'll still get a few great songs scattered in there amongst the rough and we certainly do here, too. Take for example the crashing "Bank Holiday Monday", a song which sees Kelly Jones in fine form as his hacksaw voice cuts through a solid guitar rythm section. We also get two very solid tunes in the shape of "Pass The Buck" and "I Could Lose Ya". One of the issues which arises to the listener will undounbtedly be that there is a distinct familiarity with the sound of a few tracks here, most notably the afforementioned "Pass The Buck", "I Could Lose Ya" and also "Crush" which simply build on the sparse groove of "Pedalpusher" from the band's last LP.

"Stone" and "Lady Luck" will remind fans of their 2003 album "You Gotta Go There To Come Back", but in a good way, recalling the moody and mysterious slow building songs Kelly Jones does so well. "Drowning" ends the album in the way Stereophonics usual end an album, with a dark number. Although it's a decent song it does feel like "Feel" (again, from the band's last LP) all over again.

The only absolute standout here is "Bank Holiday Monday" and although the album has some good moments, it never has any truly great ones. Stereophonics sound got a little lazy after they surprised us with their previous offering. Thankfully they returned to form with the follow up to "Pull The Pin" so all was not lost.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2007
Stereophonics are back with a great new album, with 12 tracks of pure energetic rock to savour and enjoy. After the great honest hard rock albums 'Word Gets Around' and 'Performance and Cocktails', Stereophoncis tooka change in direction for the next two albums 'Just Enough Education To perform' and 'You gotta go there to come back'. These albums in my opinion were alright, but nothing special, nothing truly inspiring. Then in 2005 they released the great album 'Language Sex Violence Other?' which was superb, it showed the swagger, cool and pure rock factor of this fantastic band. It was always going to be hard to follow up, but 'Pull the Pin' is a superb follow up to a truly stunning album.

The album starts off with the fantastic 'Soldiers make good targets', a song about war which starts of with a fantastic bluesy riff and builds up to a massive chorus, frontman Kelly Jones showcasing his powerful raw, raspy voice. There is no time to catch your breath hough, as you are taken striaghgt into the second track 'Pass the Buck', a powerful punk rocker bursting with hard rocking energy. Next there are the two single tracks, 'It means nothing' (chart no.12) and 'bank holiday monday' (downlaod only). The former track being a hypnotic, relaxing song, the latter being a punk rock stormer which gets the pulse racing again.
Track5 , Daisy Lane showcases Jones' honest and true song writing skills, in a sad song which has a lovely tune and a nice listen. The next song 'Stone', is a standout track; it builds up dramatically with some nice jangling guitars and light drums, and explodes in a massive chorus which Jones powerfully sings 'You're in my soul, you're in my mind, but i don't knwo where you are now' This track would be amazing live, as you can imagine the crowd singing along to the chorus.
The next song 'My Friends' is a rocky punk song, bursting with energy like the majority of the album tracks. It doesnt really have the catchiness of the other tracks though and doesn't really do it for me.
The next track 'I could lose ya' is a fun bouncy rock song, with slightly cheesy lyrics which add to the fun factor of the song. A nice song for the good times.
Followed up with the acoustic number 'Bright Red Star', this is a nice track with a ncie humalong chorus. I tend to skip this one though, as there are more interesting tracks.
This track is follwed up with the powerful and beautiful startrack 'Ladyluck' with its wall of guitar intro followed with a quiet verse, leading to a huge chorus. Stereophonics have never sounded so big.
Penultimate track 'Crush' is a fun edgy punk song with punky funky riffs and structure, its quite catchy.
At the end of this superb album, we end with the beautiful 'drowning' which starts offf with gentle guitar, and builds up to too minutes of pure rocking emotion and drama, and ending with just a single guitar - a haunting and memorable track that is one of the best on the album.

So there you have it, the Phonics are back to their raw rocking best for good, I'd say it was on a par with LSVO, if slightly worse, but beating it was always going to be a hard task. New drummer Javier Weyler has added a new energy into the band, and Kelly Jones voice is on top form, in this great collection of energetic rock songs. If you like ACDC, thin lizzy, oasis, you will enjoy this inspiring album. Buy it now!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2007
Apart from one song, that sounds a bit too Oasis in its delivery, this is well up there with the best of this band's work. If you don't like the band or like the staff a Q and Mojo you have a pathalogical avaersion to them, then this is not going to change your mind so just don't bother. I am not sure why these people feel so threatened by a pop group.

If however you have enjoyed previous albums then you will love this. I have only ever heard pop music that really took the form in a radically new and good direction maybe half a dozen times in the forty or so years that I have been an interested listener, Beatles' Sgt Pepper, Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and then it get a bit harder to remember. So the fact that this is ploughing a familiar furrow is no critisism at all. Don't be affraid of the style police they are only like that because they are so affraid themselves
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