on 6 March 2013
This album marks a departure (no pun intended) from the previous write - record- tour cycle and the extra time taken to develop the sound is very evident. This is a diverse, melodic, discordant, filmic album spanning from vocal led ballad to blues to strings to rock. It is well worth a listen...but take your time and have a little patience it is a grower.
on 12 March 2013
I have been a fan since hearing the first note of Word Gets Around but to be honest I had been a little disappointed with the recent album releases of late. I think I was almost ready to give up on Jones' song writing abilities, but alas, Graffiti on the Train comes out!
Again, its different! But its not rushed this time. Im humming nearly every song off this album to myself constantly and had the album on loop since receiving it in the post. Each listen brings new depth to the songs. If you're after quick 3 minute rock songs liken to WGA then this isnt for you... but what this is is properly constructed mature songs with a story and a edge. Out of ten songs there are atleast 6 songs that could be singles.
Do not listen to NME! this is quality! Enjoy
on 11 March 2013
For years now I've been of the opinion that Kelly Jones is the best Rock Vocalist the UK has to offer, and on this album he has the chance to prove that. The guitar has been reined in quite a bit, compared to other Stereophonics albums, which gives Kelly the chance to show off his remarkably soulful voice to its best effect. The title track is an instant classic, and the bluesy ballad "Been Caught Cheating" is another stunner. If, like me, you've generally preferred the band's mellower tunes, then you will love this album.
on 6 March 2013
I loved this album from the first time I heard it. I am a huge fan, so I know my opinion is biased, but I believe this is a great piece of work by the band. It has something for all emotions, it rocks, it soothes, there are happy tunes and sad, dark ones, but truly wonderful in all. Great bass lines, superb guitar solos, the drumming (by Javier Weyler) is immense, and of course Kelly Jones vocals. For me, a stunning album. Stereophonics have their haters, but don't listen to them, make up your own mind. I have had the priviledge of hearing these tracks live now too, and they sound fantastic! Five stars from me, well deserved.
on 8 March 2013
Quite simply their best album yet, how some critics can refer to this album as typical Stereophonics meat and potatoes pub rock is mind boggling. Every song is incredibly strong, but stand out moments are Violins and Tambourines, Graffiti on the Train, the superbly odd yet catchy zombie soundtrack esque In A Moment, all of which are amongst their best stuff and feature diversity by the bucket load. Catacombs is an opportunity for them to flex their guitar muscles, Take Me is beautiful, haunting and odd, and the end minute or so of Roll the Dice is superb, comparisons by reviewers to any Muse track with strings and rolling drums are completely lazy, it really isn't anything like Muse, but is brilliant despite this. The only track that I would give four stars is Caught Cheating, but only because I personally didn't much like You Gotta go There. Oh and Indian Summer is one of their best singles for a while, not sure why people are not liking it to be honest. Overall their most impressive album since Sex. Violence which is one of my all time favourite CDs.
on 12 March 2013
It's a bit of a grower, and quite a serious album, there's no Bartender & the Thief type songs on this one. Nor is there another Maybe Tomorrow either. But i have to say i really like it. Going to see them in a few weeks, it will be interesting to see how these new songs go down live.
"Graffiti On The Train", Stereophonics' eighth studio album, is unlikely to win them any new fans, garner any reviews littered with gushing accolades or, indeed, change many peoples minds about them. It is, however, rather an enjoyable listen for somebody who has always liked the band and Kelly Jones' writing, without always liking everything they have always done. I'm not convinced that this album is any real new direction, but it certainly features a slight more widescreen, evolved, mature version of the band which, considering the fact they've been around for over twenty years, shouldn't be much of a surprise. However, this album is most definitely recognisable as a Stereophonics release, even with the added orchestral touches and the usual bombast toned down a little, so there is no chance of them alienating any of their current fans.
The strings-adorned title track with its rather beautiful guitar solo is certainly one of the highlights, although the point Kelly is trying to make through the lyrics, if any, has been lost on me. "Indian Summer", again featuring plenty of strings boldly punctuating the chorus, is a particularly likeable song, "Catacomb" is a pounding, relentless chunk of indie-rock which, frankly, sounds great and "Roll The Dice" is a classy, emotive, ambitious composition and is, in my opinion, probably the best thing on the whole release. Final track, the poignant, vulnerable and rather beautiful "No-one's Perfect", completes my personal pick of the highlights from "Graffiti On The Train", but it also has to be said that there is also nothing particularly dislikeable on the album either.
It seems like having a break for a few years, recruiting a new drummer and spending a long time choosing the songs and getting the album sounding exactly how they wanted has paid off. It's a very good album indeed, with a handful of stand-out tracks which make this a worthy purchase for anyone who has enjoyed a Stereophonics album in the past. OK, it's not exactly "Performance and Cocktails", but it's a much better album than most people would expect from the group at this stage of their career and deserves a wider audience than they get these days. A lot of people seem to have written Stereophonics off... rather unfairly, it seems.