Stephen is a great live performer who ricochets between playing violin and guitar, thrashing at both with no mercy. He has just released an album on a USB stick and I'll find out how you can get one, because I've just been jolted out of my Sunday morning stupor by listening to it.
It's name? The Love That Kills, a most appropriate title for a Valentine's Day review, I think.
Stephen's anger is a bit like a social-commentary Santa Claus that rushes across the sky, bringing us gifts of rage; he is magnificently angry, and no word is wasted in articulating how he feels, either directly or metaphorically. In the anthem The Love That Kills, he berates the spoiled and smug using guitars as his weapon; If This Isn't Good, What Is? puts Abba-type piano stabs to good use; sometimes, it's the trusty fiddle which he alternately mocks and flatters: there are shades of Darryl Way in his playing. Do My Eyes See Everything When I'm Looking At You is a lovely song that begs to be covered as the bittersweet sting is buried in major seventh chords. Sometimes The Monkees peep out from behind the curtains, and most hilariously in my fave song She Says She's Seen the Light, The Pet Shop Boys gobble up Soft Cell in a pumping Euro beat.
Best of all, these songs have choruses you can sing along to- hooray!