It seems to be a common theme in most of the last few bands I’ve reviewed to have a bit of a progressive backbeat to their songs. I haven’t really mentioned it in these last few reviews because it’s kind of subtle and doesn’t define the songs, but they’ve been there; those odd and impressive drum beats and bass lines. I guess it’s a way to stand out above other household named bands, I don’t know. It could just be a coincidence. I’m more sure of that. To my surprise, French hard rock band Stereotypical Working Class have been around for about fifteen years and have six albums under their belt, so it’s no surprise that the band members feel so comfortable with each other as to create such subtle yet complex rhythms to back up their music.
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, Stereotypical Working Class’s latest album (their first full length album in five years), is packed with songs that provide both a punch and skill, as is apparent by opening track Talkers Are Not Doers. The song starts off with what sounds like a fretless bass – even if it’s a regular bass, the short solo that is played is impressive – before bursting out into a fun and fast hard rock rhythm that hits you hard and hooks you in the process. Not many other songs sound quite this upbeat, but Perfect Frame is another that could fit in the same league.
There are more serious sounding songs, such as Soon Enough and Song For Keplar, the latter being one of the most progressively arranged songs on the album. There are also some curveballs that probably wouldn’t be expected such as Walking Over You, which starts off with what sounds like a banjo before once again bursting out into a mostly serious sounding hard rock song.
Vocalist Martin S. really lets his voice soar at many points, but is no stranger to letting out some harsh yells, such as on More Than a Man and the fast paced Truth or Consequences. Unfortunately on Your Own Way Martin doesn’t seem to be able to hit some of the notes that he intends to hit, but this is the only sign of any sort of vocal shortcoming heard on the album. Other than that, his voice does nothing but grace every other song on Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining.
There are a couple o ballads/light hearted songs on the album. The first one is The Best That I Can. Upon listening to the lyrics, it is obvious the song is about being a father for the first time. I applaud how Stereotypical Working Class didn’t make this a sappy ballad, which it most certainly could have been, but rather they made another upbeat sounding song and put a hell of a lot of heart in to it. Live and Learn is the closest thing that Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining has to a ballad, but Stereotypical Working Class didn’t quite make the most of it the way I feel they could have. Musically the song has some build up to it, but the vocals had so many opportunities throughout the almost five minutes of the song to really hit you, however it’s not until the last minute and a half that the vocals really have any significance, and even then they could have had more of a hook.
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining’s closing track Dead Men Walking has its differences from the rest of the album, but in the end it is another hard alternative rock song with a progressive backbeat. It kind of mixes a lot of what has been heard on the album, such as slow melodic moments with hard hitting outbursts of music, plus Martin’s guttural screams filling out some intense moments.
I can’t deny that Stereotypical Working Class has some fine musicians who not only play their instruments well but they play them fairly well with each other, but I do feel that the songs, for the most part, lack a hook. I’ve said how I enjoy Martin’s voice, but his usage of melodies at many points comes kind of short and mostly leaves the music to do the talking on each song. For what the album is – a heavy yet melodic rock album probably intended to be taken in the same way as some of today’s top hard rock acts – most of the songs need a bit more of a hook, be it with vocal melodies or maybe a guitar riff if they want to go a step further in their career.
“Talkers Are Not Doers” – The first song on Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining catches you the way the first song on an album should. It has a hook in its opening guitar riff, no matter how simple the riff is it sticks in my memory and is what I always remember when I think of this album. As for most of this review, there regrettably isn’t a song sample that I can provide for you, but the links in the track list below will bring you to iTunes to check out samples!
7 (Out of 10)
|1||Talkers Are Not Doers||Stereotypical Working Class||4:25|
|2||Soon Enough||Stereotypical Working Class||3:55|
|3||Walking over You||Stereotypical Working Class||3:18|
|4||The Best That I Can||Stereotypical Working Class||4:03|
|5||Song for Kepler||Stereotypical Working Class||5:15|
|6||Your Own Way||Stereotypical Working Class||3:28|
|7||More Than a Man||Stereotypical Working Class||4:19|
|8||Perfect Frame||Stereotypical Working Class||4:06|
|9||Live and Learn||Stereotypical Working Class||4:57|
|10||Truth or Consequences||Stereotypical Working Class||3:07|
|11||Friendly Fire||Stereotypical Working Class||4:31|
|12||Something Good||Stereotypical Working Class||4:01|
|13||Dead Men Walking||Stereotypical Working Class||5:24|