Welsh rockers Stereophonics’ latest album, Scream Above the Sounds is their tenth studio album, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their landmark debut record, Word Gets Around.
Emerging into the mainstream UK rock scene during the 1990’s, Stereophonics have produced a succession of powerful rock anthems that have stood the test of time with music lover fans all over the globe. With the strength of lead singer Kelly Jones’ vocal range and wonderful songwriting ability, this record is a credit to their persistent endeavour to engage listeners throughout their career to date.
The opening song Caught by the Wind is a track that makes use of the anthem like melodies reminiscent of their greatest early recordings that were written in the aftermath of the Bataclan Theater attacks in Paris in 2015.
Before Anyone Knew Our Name is a track about friendship and loss. The song was written as a tribute to Stereophonics’ original drummer, Stuart Cable, who left the band in 2003 and subsequently died in 2010. ‘I miss you, man,’ one of the songs highlight lyrics. Following Cable’s exit from the band, all members remained mates until his passing, which inevitably left a void in the band.
The song Elevators, is an almost country-tinged song that includes a twangy slide guitar and honky-tonk piano sound. Caught By The Wind’and Cryin’ In Your Beer are all big walloping choruses with galloping electric guitars, suited to that Stereophonics’ unique sound the fans want to hear.
The vulnerable song Before Anyone Knew Our Name is just Jones and a piano. My favourite song, All in One Night, is Jones at his best, delivering fine lyrics and rich vocals. Different to the layered, brass-laden, What’s all the Fuss About?, a glittering state-of the-nation address.
Scream Above the Sounds is certainly not their finest work by any means. However, there is something for every loyal Stereophonics fan, from gloomy melancholic tracks to their typical rock guitar-centred pieces.
Review by Rob Lyon