Review: Stereophonics enjoying the ride with Graffiti On The Train

IT’S tempting to describe a band with such a long and illustrious career as The Stereophonics as maturing like a wine or a cheese, but I like to think of them more like honey – there’s is a sound which just doesn’t spoil.
I’ve been a fan of the Welsh rockers since Kelly Jones was wee, and not a lot has changed since then.
Graffiti On The Train, their eighth album, sees the group’s rocky, trademark sound take a classic turn, with Rod Stewartesque heartwrenchers like Been Caught Cheating and No-one’s Perfect, epic tracks like Violins And Tambourines and We Share The Same Sun, and vintage ‘Phonics pop rockers like Indian Summer and Catacomb all perfectly balanced out over the course of the LP.
Graffiti On The Train does not signal a band reinventing the wheel and why should it?
It’s the sound of a band carrying along the right track, at their own speed, enjoying the ride.


Review: Diablos Del Ritmo is devilishly infectious

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IF YOU only buy one album of Afrobeat-influenced vintage Colombian tropical dance music, make it this one.
OK, maybe I’m being a bit pithy with that introduction, but it would be a pity if such infectious music as is contained on the latest Analog Africa compilation, Diablos Del Ritmo, was overlooked due to the niche factor.
Because this collection of music to come out of Colombia, particularly the ports which welcomed in shipments of African vinyl in the 1960s to hugely influence local music makers, from 1960-1985 is sure to put a smile on your face.
Yes, it can come across as an archiving project as much as a double-album at times – such is the wealth of music contained within – but ultimately it’s a lively mixture of tropical sounds and African rhythms, the sort of sounds that frequently sneak in to sample-heavy hip-hop or electronica artists’ work nowadays, but in a natural environment.

Review: Cate Le Boring

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SIXTIES-influenced singer songwriter Cate Le Bon’s latest LP is like travelling back in time – but no-one enjoys travelling, do they?
Her folky music is stamped with a retro hallmark, with psychedelic swells and grainy production the order of the day. On paper it’s like Syd Barrett’s arranged for Nico to cover some Nick Drake songs.
And there are moments – such as opener Falcon Eyed – where it captures your attention.
But overall the Welsh singer’s results are so subtle, so introvert they become underwhelming and uninspiring – it’s about as interesting as one of those ‘vintage’ shirts made by Primark.