Performance (& Cocktails)
Release date: 12 October 2007
UK chart peak: #1
Running time: 46:25
Singles: It Means Nothing (#12), My Friends (#32)
Pull The Pin may not have been a hit with the critics, but it was no less popular with fans in the UK, giving the band their fifth consecutive number one album. It performed less well overseas, only reaching the top four in four other countries: Ireland (#15), France (#30), New Zealand (#38), and Switzerland (#40).
This album was a natural progression from 2005’s Language. Sex. Violence. Other?, sticking to the sharp rock feel for the most part. In the weeks surrounding Pull The Pin‘s release, albums by Bruce Springsteen (Magic), Foo Fighters (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace), and Sugababes (Change) reached the top spot in the UK, with Jack Peñate’s Matinée, James Blunt’s All The Lost Souls, and Shotter’s Nation by Babyshambles all featuring in the top ten. About You Now by Sugababes spent several weeks at the top of the UK singles charts, with Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse’s version of Valerie, She’s So Lovely by Scouting for Girls, and Goodbye Mr A by The Hoosiers all spending time in the top ten.
This was the Stereophonics’ final album as a three-piece, as guitarist Adam Zindani joined the band for the Pull The Pin tour and subsequently went on to officially join the band, recording with them on all albums since 2009’s Keep Calm and Carry On.
Whilst it may not reach the dizzying heights of Word Gets Around, Just Enough Education to Perform, or Language. Sex. Violence. Other?, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for this album as it just happened to mark the first Stereophonics tour that I went to while I was at uni – a couple of days after my birthday, too. The only thing I’m really not keen on is the artwork, which isn’t a massive factor for an existing fan as I’d be planning on buying it regardless.
There’s decent variety in the track listing, but when it goes heavy it goes heavy – perhaps given an injection of energy from Javier Weyler’s introduction as drummer in 2005, and looking to follow their hard rock influences for the most part. Soldiers Make Good Targets and Pass the Buck certainly make an impact as the opening two tracks, and the band only ease up for the duration of lead single It Means Nothing before pounding back into Bank Holiday Monday. It’s an enjoyably relentless start, full of catchy riffs and hooks galore.
One of my favourites, however, is Daisy Lane – this sees Jones back in storyteller mode as he recounts the tale of a boy who was fatally stabbed on his street. I’m also a big fan of I Could Lose Ya (forgive me if I’m completely mishearing it, but I’m sure I can hear an “oochya!” in the intro), serving as a good energy booster alongside My Friends in the middle of the album. Bright Red Star is slightly incongruous on this album, though hints at things to come, and Drowning is a suitably heavy & dramatic way to finish off the record.
Roll Up and Shine
The band went on a world tour to support the album’s release, most dates concentrated on Europe and the US. They visited countries such as Switzerland, Latvia, Thailand, Australia, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands – UK dates included visits to venues such as Brighton Centre, Metro Radio Arena Newcastle (I was there!), Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Belfast’s Odyssey Arena, and Hull Arena.
Featured image credit: Jo Hale/Getty Images Europe
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