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Sundowner
Stereophonics: Graffiti On The Train

Graffiti On The Train

(Stereophonics)
Label(s): 
Genre: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Grade:
A-
Format: 
LP

I recall Stereophonics way, way, way back in my life. I wasn’t a fan, but I recall their music on the radio. That being said, this was all new to me. The fact that the band took some time off from a set career recording routine to find a new sound for their next album is irrelevant for me. Still, if this is their new sound, kudos.

Okay, so the album wasn’t 100% for me. The first three tracks on the album just don’t mesh well with the rest of the album. We Share The Same Sun, Graffiti On The Train, and Indian Summer all sound aged, as if they’re not even from the same band. I’m reminded of acts like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Don Henley. Not quite sure what was going on here, but I’ve read that this is the first of two albums that will tie together. Concept? I don’t know. It’s been said when they come together everything will make sense.

The rest of the album was just fantastic. Take me has the faint traces of the albums opening three, but shakes off comparisons with a tandem vocal style paired up with a very dramatic sounding backing score. It also showcases the stand out instrument on the album, bass. It’s not often you hear that unless you’re having a discussion about early Metallica, Primus, Or New Order.

The album is incredibly rich in sound aside from bass. Subtle keystrokes of an emotionally toned piano, sonic guitar, and scattered percussion. The band makes great use of their sound from a light blistering of guitars (Catacombs), stringed instruments (Roll The Dice), amazing soul vocals (Been Caught Cheating), the complete package (In A Moment).

Really the entirety of the album after the first three tracks is just phenomenal. If this is the new sound of the band they just found themselves a fan. Lyrically the album is cerebral, the music is epic and emotionally driven, and it really makes me look forward to the second album in this set. If it gives meaning to the first three track, the weakest in my opinion, that would be great, but as it is the album is just shy of perfection due to the opening trio of songs. Still, I would highly suggest buying up this album. Great stuff. Enjoy. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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