To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Word Gets Around, Stereophonics have delivered an exciting super rock album titled Scream Above The Sounds, which was released on October 27 via Parlophone record. The deluxe version of the album contains 16 unpublished tracks including two unplugged singles.
Two years after their Keep The Village Alive album, which brought them back to the top of the UK charts, they have chosen to deliver a very energetic rock album that reminds me of the band’s first productions. Scream Above The Sounds was recorded in London at RAK Studios and produced by their friend Jim Lowe along with frontman Kelly Jones.
The Stereophonics started to play together in Cwmaman, Wales in 1996, they signed the first record contract with the then new-born V2. The debut album, Word Gets Around, came out in August 1997. Performance And Cocktails was the second album from the band, from which the classic single “Roll Up and Shine” was born.
The grand style of the Stereophonics has been consolidated with a great series of concerts over the year, the live performances of the band are memorable and appreciated by critics and fans, and over the years, the Stereophonic sound has changed from classic rock to more delicate and pop sounds. Over their 20-year career, the band have been characterised by classic successful singles such as “Maybe Tomorrow”, “Dakota” and “Mr and mrs smith” just to mention the most famous.
“All In One Night” is the lead single from this new album Scream Above The Sounds. A track with a simple melody and a memorable riff, it is the perfect single to introduce the 11-track studio recording by the band.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the track, lead singer Kelly Jones said: “I was in this hotel and it was basically an idea I had watched this German movie called ‘Victoria’, which is about this girl who goes into a nightclub and ends up hooking up with these three guys. I thought the idea of two people meeting and their life completely changing over the course of one night was quite an interesting idea”.
“Geronimo”, “Caught By The Wind” and “Drive Thousand Miles” are among the most interesting tracks of the album. The musical production of “Geronimo” is very modern and interesting, with this song, the Stereophonic propose a dark and intense sound, a song that we can define as very rock-and-roll.
Completely different is the style that the band proposes on another noteworthy song on the album titled “Thousand Miles”, which is reminiscent of the sound of their fourth studio album, 2002’s You Gotta Go There to Come Back.
The ballad “Before Anyone Knew Our Name” is one of the most appreciated tracks by the critic, the song talks about friendship and loss, and it is written as a tribute to the band’s original drummer Stuart Cable who left the band in 2003 and died in 2010.
The song is simple and the arrangement is comprised only of a piano and vocals. The singer’s interpretation is simple and very emotional, and his voice is exciting and appealing. The impact is further enhanced by the repeated lyric “I miss you, man”.
“Before Anyone Knew Our Name” and “Boy On A Bike” are the only ballads on Scream Above The Sounds, their presence gives variety to the album and also shows the great ability of Stereophonic to manage different sounds and rhythms.
The album concludes with “Boy On A Bike” and “Elevators“, and the romantic and nostalgic atmosphere of these songs are the perfect end to the beautiful music narrative proposed by Scream Above The Sounds.
Scream Above The Sounds is a great rock album with many memorable tracks with great commercial potential, but what makes this album extraordinary is the sophisticated production and the very original and complex arrangements proposed by the band. Stereophonics are great musicians and this album allows us to appreciate their great experience and their personal and recognizable style.
Stereophonics have also announced a massive arena tour to support their new album, and we cannot wait to see them live all over the UK next year, you can find out more about their tour dates here.
Scream Above The Sounds is out now via Parlophone Records, stream or download it here.
Words by Rebecca Donati