AFTER a decade of huffing and puffing, Stereophonics have finally made the fully-fledged comeback they’d been promising.
Their new album ‘Graffiti On The Train’ sits well alongside their two most acclaimed releases to date (1997’s ‘Word Gets Around’ and 1999’s ‘Performances and Cocktails’) while displaying a maturity they’ve gained from years on the road.
It’s hard to believe this is Stereophonics’ sixth studio album since Performance and Cocktails - arguably their last album which wasn’t bogged down with ‘filler’.
While ‘Graffiti On The Train’ doesn’t have songs to rival classics like ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’ or ‘The Bartender And The Thief’ it’s pleasing to see they’ve tightened up their game and produced a focused album which keeps the listener hooked from start to finish.
Current single ‘Indian Summer’ is backed up with classic rock songs like ‘We Share The Same Sun’ and ‘In A Moment’.
The band also try to broaden their horizons with songs like ‘Take Me’ - a Nick Cave-style murder ballad - and ‘Been Caught Cheating’ - an Amy Winehouse-inspired croon-along.
Stand out tracks include ‘Roll The Dice’ and ‘Violins and Tambourines’ which builds to a memorable crescendo featuring - you’ve guessed it - violins and tambourines.
Having played an ‘intimate’ gig earlier this month in the Waterfront Hall, Stereophonics will return to Belfast on November 11 to play an arena gig in the Odyssey.
Judging by their new album they got what it takes to draw the big crowds again.
By Graeme Cousins