Scream Above The Sounds is the tenth album by Welsh rock band Stereophonics. Their last two albums, 2013’s Graffiti On The Train and 2015’s Keep The Village Alive, were particularly strong and rank among some of the band’s best works. The album is inspired both by current events in the world and lead singer Kelly Jones’ childhood innocence in Cwmaman, a small village in South Wales.
Scream Above The Sounds is another winner; it is frequently infectious and, in terms of quality, is very consistent. Out of eleven tracks, only the final two are llers. It is a bit of a shame to end the album on a low note but the rest of it is seriously strong.
What’s All The Fuss About? is easily the best track of the album – a sombre, jazz-infused epic that frequently borders on the cinematic in scope. The song starts out in its opening verse as if it’s a typical Stereophonics rock song but then, as soon as its soothing chorus kicks in, so does guest Gavin Fitzjohn’s trumpet, elevating the Tom Waits-like piece and gently beckoning the album in a slightly new direction. It also happens to be the longest of the album so you get to spend the most amount of time listening to it!
The two other standouts are Geronimo and Chances Are. Geronimo is a stomping and upbeat piece which is instrumentally interesting in the song’s wilder moments. Chances Are offers a more typical, punchy Stereophonics sound and has great guitar riffs by Adam Zindani.
The rest of the album is also very listenable. Before Anyone Knew Our Name is a moving piano ballad about former band member Stuart Cable who sadly died in 2010 after choking in his sleep after a drunken night out. Caught By The Wind is inspired from the 2015 Paris attacks and encourages through its lyrics to live life to the full despite these atrocities. This idea neatly sums up the album overall. In a world where such horrors exist, it can only be a good thing Scream Above The Sounds exists to offer a temporary, rousing escape.