Stereophonics: Oochya! (Ignition) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, April 24th, 2024  




Apr 12, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Stereophonics are an easy target as bands go, and may be the most disrespected among the global-touring rock acts of their era. Chart success and sold-out arenas are often uncomfortable bedfellows with the critics and this band occupies an odd guilty pleasure status, but there is something about the heart-on-their-sleeves songwriting and delivery that also seems to be too much for some. Their meta-emotive songs coming on too strong, with a wit and wisdom and that is mostly lost on many listeners. Yes, the soaring, angst-ridden melodies, and the bracing vocals of Kelly Jones can be too heartfelt and confessional, too earnest, for some. But if you listen past the polished production and trappings and really hear the songs there is something more underlying it all, a sadness and resignation hiding in the dark, from expressive broad-shouldered Welshman who have a heart.

On their new album, Oochya!, they bust out with the energetic opener, “Hanging on Your Hinges,” a boisterous how-do-you-do, and metaphor for keeping someone hanging on. A relatable topic these days. By the second song, “Forever,” they settle into a familiar groove and the finely honed melody takes hold.

Even on songs displaying a hopeful message there is a mournful quality hovering. A line such as “Wish I could fly away forever” takes on another emotional dimension when Jones sings it like the last line he will ever speak. There is a soulful melancholy that rises in a lot of their songs, such as on the heart-aching “Leave the Light On” and the poignant piano of “Every Dog Has Its Day.”

Appreciating a sense of the dramatic marked by emotive gestures is a pre-requisite for embracing this band. What it provides is a powerful and uplifting musical statement. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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