Mine was pretty sweet, but I digress. Music time! Stereophonics are a Welsh band that fits squarely under the brit pop-alternative-indie rock umbrella, and they are pretty fantastic. As seems to be the case pretty often, they have achieved a high degree of success in the UK whilst remaining relatively unknowing in the US, and it’s just as well. Though the myth of the rock star was established here in the States, it lives on in England. There, rock stars still make controversial statements in the media, with whom they have terse relationships, and drink themselves to death (as Stereophonics’ former drummer recently did), and fight each other with words, or sometimes fists and weapons.
The lead singer of Stereophonics, Kelly Jones, does everything you want your British rocker to do. No joke. Upon finding out that the band photographer was dating his ex-fiance four weeks after the dissolution of the twelve year relationship, he got smashed, and then proceeded to smash the guy’s window and two cars. The photographer did not press charges, and when asked about the event later, Kelly Jones said “What I did was completely out of character – but what he did was wrong.” And then he wrote a song about it. Oh yeah, rock and roll. And he has the whiskey-and-gravel voice to match. (But not the stature…Kelly Jones is like 5’6, which kind of makes the fact that he was drunk/angry enough to smash up shit belonging to some dude who is presumably, you know, taller than I am by more than a quarter of an inch all the more impressive/stupid.) Those Welsh musicians, man…Speaking of crazy Welsh musicians, Stereophonics totally opened for Manic Street Preachers back in the day, post-Richey James, but still! Oh, you have no idea who that is? This is a story for another day…
Their 2005 album, Language. Sex. Violence. Other? is sexy, sweaty, dirty gritty rock and roll, with a good dose of indie rock-introspective and observant, brought by a guy who, in his pre-band days, would take jobs based solely on the fact that they’d allow him to people watch. It’s pretty sweet, and I was going to have a really, really rough time picking a song off of it. Until I discovered that one of the tracks has a banned music video.
You probably did not know me during my industrial phase. That was a very, very long time ago. However, the love that I sustained for banned music videos during this time is with me still. The choice was so very, very made. The aforementioned music video is a few parts sexy and a few parts fucked up, like most banned music videos. Be sure to watch it while you listen to the song, which is a level of sexy and gritty that is quite representative of the album as a whole. The lyrics are purposeful and well-chosen. Jones’s delivery, on both the slick verses and the big chorus, is so perfect. And of course, the whole thing comes with a really, really great piano part. Yes, you can have a dirtysexy rock song where the main riff manifests itself mostly in piano. This is proof. So, before we move on to the actual music part of the evening, you really, really have to watch this video. Like I said, sexy and fucked up. Kind of like Stereophonics? Eh? See what I kinda sorta maybe didn’t really do there…So–here’s “Devil” by Stereophonics.
Have I seen you somewhere baby?
Oh no, I need another line