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[Off The Record]
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Flummoxed by Radiohead’s space-age rock operatics? Left dizzy by two-step’s helium-pitched breakbeats? Try the Stereophonics’ so-trad-it-hurts arena-ready rock, the most painless crossover from our British cousins since Oasis. This Welsh trio fill their third album with the kind of alternately bruising and brittle pop tropes Oasis drove to the top of the charts in the mid ’90s, when mainstream audiences, teased but left unsatisfied by alterna-rock’s validation of hook-filled guitar jangle, were hungry for hooks delivered with a swagger and a swoon. But what Stereophonics don’t seem to realize in their commitment to accessibility is that their rough-hewn pop rock falls between the cracks of what’s selling these days. " Vegas Two Times, " Education’s blistering opener, is the Black Crowes without the sweet soul surrender; " Lying in the Sun " is Coldplay minus the starstruck whimsy; " Nice To Be Out " is U2 free of Bono’s sanctimonious croon and the Edge’s six-string pyrotechnics. Still, the bouncy, sunny " Have a Nice Day " is as undeniable a chunk of cheese as British pop seems capable of these days.

(Stereophonics perform this Saturday, May 26, at the sold-out River Rave at Foxboro Stadium.)


Issue Date: May 24 - 30, 2001

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