Stereophonics may have been playing it safe on their past few records, but on their 10th album, Scream Above The Sounds, the Welsh rock band show they’ve still got something to say.
Caught by The Wind and Taken A Tumble are underwhelming and predictable openers, both harking back to an overdriven country rock sound that feel like safe territory for the group. Even the lyrics are quite uninventive as Kelly Jones sings the cliché line “I’ve fallen head over heels for you”.
From here, though, Scream Above The Sounds becomes far more interesting. What’s All The Fuss About? is more intricate with its drumming and picked guitar patterns, while the horns and introspective delivery of Jones shows hints of early Radiohead, making it the stand-out track. The stompy Geronimo has a similar vibe to Coldplay’s Violet Hill, and the echoey dreampop of All In One Night is another strong song, even if the diary-like lyrics are a little distracting.
Chances Are and Cryin’ In Your Beer channel their token driving classic rock sound with more oomph than the openers, while the mandolin on closer Elevators has the same light, summery feel of Travis.
The album sadly finishes in a similar fashion to the start. Boy On A Bike offers generic acoustic guitar chords and the vague refrain, “What am I running from? I used to be so fearless”, while the bloated Would You Believe? tries to marry the electronic aspects of Gorillaz with the soul of Macy Gray.
Scream Above The Sounds might be a bit patchy, but it contains some of Stereophonics best work since their heyday.
Edited by Ginny Wong