Stereophonics You Gotta Go There To Come Back

After reaching a Rod Stewart level of fame with their less than impressive cover of "Handbags and Gladrags,” Welsh rockers Stereophonics will now continue to release dreadfully tiring anthemic rock for the pub crowd without ever looking back to their early days, when they were actually decent. You Gotta Go There To Come Back, their fourth album, was produced by front-man Kelly Jones, who has decided to take an even bigger step towards the retro, blues rock of bands like the Faces and Led Zeppelin. The opening riffage of "Help Me (She’s Out Of Her Mind)” lights the match that flickers throughout the ridiculous wah overkill on former single "Madame Helga” and the suspiciously tough "High As The Ceiling.” Of course though, Stereophonics have mastered mixing their rock songs with their own brand of radio brown-nosing. So the nauseatingly charming "Maybe Tomorrow” and the Oasis-hugging "Climbing The Wall” are thrown in to help out. Kudos goes out to Jones for taking a chance and getting lyrically nasty on "Rainbows and Pots of Gold,” but in the end, it’s too little, too late, to go there and come back. (V2)