The eighth studio album from Stereophonics finds Kelly Jones at a crossroads.
Publish-best hits, Graffiti on the Prepare comes out on the band’s personal label Stylus Information and presumably affords Jones the time and house to carve a brand new area of interest.
And someway, nearly, he does. That is, inevitably, a extra grown-up document than we have heard from him earlier than.
Not that Jones has ever been something lower than critical. However Graffiti on the Prepare feels relaxed, at phrases with its place on the earth – and if that dangers longueurs of steadfastly strange rock, then them’s the breaks.
Its opening is typical, with We Share the Identical Solar turning a bluesy guitar again and again in opposition to sinister keys – no fast rewards right here.
Later, the album broods, as on the semi-gothic Take Me, or the doo-wopping trad-rock Been Caught Dishonest – the latter ultimately erupting right into a extra acquainted, anthemic refrain. Not precisely deft melodically, it however rouses like all of the chunkiest Stereophonics favourites.
It is adopted by Roll the Cube the place a Supergrass-y vamp morphs into the sort of quasi-operatic shapes Muse may attain for, and each songs border on the thrilling. Related is the motorik final minute of Violins and Tambourines.
Extra consultant although is the Touring Wilburys chug-along of Indian Summer season, with its obscure, unobtrusive attraction and sense of weathered consolation. It feels as if it ought to come from a band a era older, however Stereophonics are heading in that route.
For all of the occasional pyrotechnics, Graffiti on the Prepare is clearly the work of a person and an outfit that is carried out the rock’n’roll factor and is now easing into the subsequent step. It is a strong sufficient begin.