“In the late ‘90s, a rash of Welsh rock bands emerged, among them Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, 60 Ft. Dolls, and the Stereophonics. On the surface, the Stereophonics’ gritty rock & roll seems relatively uninspired, but upon close listen Word Gets Around proves to be a very accomplished debut. Vocalist/ guitarist Kelly Jones’ vocals are raw and rip the songs apart, as his loud, arena-ready guitar assault gives every track a gritty edge. Jones’ lyrics are also of note; highly poetic and meaningful, he writes about the underbelly of a small town” (Damas).
“The anthemic opener, the outrageously catchy A Thousand Trees, details how a respected high school athletic coach ruined his career through a lurid sexual encounter with a female student, and the quick, jagged More Life in a Tramp’s Vest displays the view of the world through the eyes of a supermarket bag boy” (Damas).
“Word Gets Around isn’t all about hard rockers, though; the hit Traffic is a beautifully constructed ballad that works marvelously when a juxtaposition is made between the music and Jones’ rough vocal styling. While Word Gets Around occasionally suffers from blandness, it is a remarkably accomplished debut” (Damas).