The eighth studio album from welsh alternative rockers Stereophonics"Graffiti On The Train" shows that the band is still going strong even with drummer Javier Weyler leaving the band and being replaced byJamie Morrison of the Noisettes. The album debuted at number three on the UK album charts, and number two on the Scottish charts, it also peaked at number one on the UK Indie charts.
The album has a dark atmosphere about it, with country influenced guitar melodies, melancholic strings and lead singer Kelly Jones' trademark smoky vocals. Songs like "We Share The Same Sun" and "Catacomb" hark back to earlier Stereophonics albums with their big drums and heavy guitar riffs, whilst string heavy orchestral tunes like the title-track show a glimpse of a new refined Stereophonics.
The songs show the listener a story, like a movie, hardly surprising seeing as they collaborated with famous film composer David Arnold for string arrangements on some of the tracks. "Violins And Tambourines", is the standout track in my opinion. It begins the same as many songs on the album; slow, quiet, bare. It leaves you almost longing for something more, and by the bridge you get it. The song turns into an orchestral masterpiece with David Arnolds' strings leading the pack in a hurried race to reach the finish. The guitars pick up and the vocals return with a new passion and aggression. The song features a brilliant trumpet line and the violins sound like something off a James Bond film. It reminds me why Stereophonics make music: because they are good at it.
For me there is one let down on this album, the song "Been Caught Cheating". It doesn't fit in with the rest of the album with its bluesy guitars and lovesick vocals. The song creates a gap in the cinematic masterpiece and nearly ruins it. The first seven songs all work together to create a desperate atmosphere, something that tells us "something big is coming", and then this track comes along and rips all that work down.
The first single from the album "In A Moment" failed to chart even with popular demand because it was released as a free download and only a limited number of physical vinyl issues. The second single "Indian Summer" however reached number thirty on the UK singles charts, becoming their highest charting single since 2007 when "It Means Nothing" reached number twelve.
After a four year long wait Stereophonics needed to release a really good album to keep their fans and critics happy, fortunately they did that. "Graffiti On The Train" is a masterpiece of beautifully written lyrics and melodies. It's laid back approach with only three fast songs out of ten altogether, and haunting strings, creates an album that is enjoyable to listen to and makes you want more.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.
They immediately sold out Sydney and Melbourne dates earlier this year, and now LCD Soundsystem are returning to Australia and New Zealand for their biggest headline shows ever this summer – touring February 2018!