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!!!!!!!!!
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!
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!!
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
on 6 November 2007
I have been a stereophonics fan since Performance and Cocktails and am so glad to see the band back to producing some really memorable and catchy, rock songs. Just to clarify, as everyone has different tastes:
'Word gets around'...very cool, very raw and very simple.
'Performance...'.is my favourite album of theirs (perhaps just because thats the one that got me into them.
'J.e.e.p' i thought was okay although it doesnt get much of a play these days.
'You gotta go there....' i loved due to its new soul sound
'Language, Violence...' i thought was terrible and apart from Dakota which i still love i cannot recall another descent song on the album.
So now you know the background, it is with pleasure that i say i now have another 'phonics album which is being worn out in the CD player. No weak songs on the album and some absolute crackers to boot. You will be humming these tunes after the second listen.
So chuffed that they are back to, IMO, their best. Nice!
on 9 January 2015
I thought this album was pretty average initially but I have it mixed in with a load of other stuff on "shuffle" on my ipod and when each track has cropped up I have enjoyed the tracks more than when listening to the album as a "one off". I like this guys voice and guitar sound so this band has a head's start as far as I am concerned.
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.
on 15 October 2007
This is a great album, there are no weak songs in my opinion. My favourites are Bank Holiday Monday, Soldiers Make Good Targets and Crush, well worth a purchase of another album from Kelly and Co.
on 20 December 2007
I really like Stereophonics, "Word gets Around" is brilliant and "P&C/LSVO?" are also are very good listen, but they do have this annoying nag of releasing really great singles (Mr Writer from "JETP", Maybe Tommorrow from "YGGTTCB") then poor albums. Pull the Pin is the same.
Bank Holiday Monday, It Means Nothing and My Friends are quality, so you're thinking that this could be one of the albums of the year.
Not true, "Soldiers make good Targets" and "Bright Red Star" fill up the "Listenable" quota on the album and the rest is either filler or just not that good.
My advice would be to download the singles (legally, of course) and if you like them, then get the album on the cheap if a couple of months time. Don't pay a tenner for it though.
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! :)