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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 21 July 2017
Wery good
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on 3 April 2015
According to online "writings"...this album was already written recorded and finished by the end of 2006.

Which would of probably been a far better time to release it, and build on the popularity of the album they did a year before (not that it was that amazing anyway, but it would of helped it a bit)

Compared to Word Gets Around or You got to go there to come back, this is very "mundane..."

It has its moments I suppose. Daisy Lane (a song about knife stabbings...how wonderful)....Stone (a miserable tune about driving looking for your girlfriend...) It means nothing (see song before)

Pass the Buck and Soldiers make good targets kind of save the day. I am not sure what Kelly Jones was thinking when he did this record.
I hope he was thinking "Lord, should I get Stuart Cable back in the band and Bird and Bush producing again?"

Well...you would hope so.
Unfortunately he didn't listen to his own wisdom and we get this.
If you are a Stereophonics fan and your preferred record is Performance and Cocktails...then you will smash a kitchen bench in half with your fist in frustration listening to this.

It rocks yes, it has a few nice slow moving songs....but its just a huge big black headache.
What is more odd is the best track is a b side..."Nitedrive"

Which would of been a better cross over song, for America, also being one the older fans could relate too who knew the band in the earlier years.

Surprisingly the most boring song on the record Bright Red Star (an occult reference..?)...is the stand out.
So if your going to download one song from it, it should be that one.

My Friends tries to be another "I wouldn't believe your radio" or "T shirt sun tan" but its not.
Same with Bank Holiday Monday....its Dakota meets Bartender and the thief...not a wonderful combination.

To be honest, this is probably one of the WORST Stereophonics albums along with Keep Calm and Carry On.
Since 2009 they have improved, but what I noticed is...once they started going back to their more Welsh sound or the sound they had when they were living in Wales...they became a far more listenable and interesting band.

Why would we want the Stereophonics to become U2 for?
Or REM. These are bands Kelly Jones aspires to be like, that evolve.

But the Stereophonics have not evolved, they have just tried to break America, and while doing it, America broke them.

And to be honest, I am not sure Kelly Jones should focus on success in America anyway. There are loads of problems in Africa, New Zealand, Australia.

Focus on those countries first, worry about America later. Because its Americas problems which is why those countries are in such a state anyway.

Fame and Fortune never wins the day.

As a repellent to this albums disappointment (should you feel such a thing..) I would suggest giving Stuart Cables Killing for company song Surrender a listen, it sounds much more in line with the early Stereophonics songs - at the Stuart Cable tribute page.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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