God bless the Stereophonics and their non-calendar-watching rock & roll hearts. Apparently unaware that hard-driving Brit-rock is supposed to be neither this effective nor this infectious in 2005, Stereophonics thumb their noses at the retro fashion-rock that's got NME writers all excited these days and deliver yet another album that's bristling with arena-size energy and bombast. Seemingly composed completely of soaring choruses and majestic guitars, there's no subtlety or softness on Language, and there's barely a minute's rest either. By the time the midtempo simplicity of the intro to "Dakota" finally rolls along, you've already been pummeled by four consecutive blasts of rock power … and then of course, "Dakota" explodes into its own little anthemic bludgeon. Stereophonics are a for-real rock & roll band, and they've settled their sound somewhere between Oasis' transcendence and the Wildhearts' gleeful orgy of glam riffs. Though that may not be the most fashionable address these days, it's certainly fun to live at.