Album Review: Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves

Nothing But Thieves
Nothing But Thieves
Release Date: 16th October 2015

Hailing from Southend-on-Sea, this alt rock five piece have fast become a band to keep an eye on. Totting up tens of thousands of followers online and playing relentlessly has all seen the band grow and grow in success. Having recently released this, their debut album, the quintet have already seen their first offering triumph, when after the first week, the album was number 7 on the album chart and number 1 on the vinyl chart. Does all that success and hard work translate into a great first album? You bet it does.

We open with ‘Excuse Me’, a lethargic track with plodding rhythms and steadily flowing chords. Storytelling lyrics are delivered softly with a fragile nature before reaching soaring peaks found in heavy choruses. Those high pitched vocals punctuate a commanding voice, chugging grungy riffs and hard hit drums all of which are laced in an infectious edge.

Oscillating guitar notes brings us into ‘Ban All The Music’ which has a a great rock and roll feel from the off. Dirty riffs, pounding drums and vocals with a certain swagger make this completely addictive to listen to, begging you to hit repeat over and over. Quick catchy riffs, a steady drum beat and swaying melodies create an easy listening alt-rock song on ‘Wake Up Call’. The song steadily flows through verse, chorus, verse and it isn’t until we reach the preceding final chorus interlude that the tempo and rock influence pick up for one final hurrah.

Dank reverberating guitar and whispering vocals start off ‘Itch’ giving it a grungy feel reminiscent of bands like Garbage. As the chorus kicks in, we get pounding drums, feedback laden bass, melodic riffs and soaring vocals sitting over that fuzzy undertone. This is a great song with plenty of 90’s influence throughout but the rock and roll sounds give it a truly modern feel.

‘If I Get High’ is a much slower track with gentle guitar sitting underneath harmonious vocals which reach high notes with ease creating a fullness found lacking until the addition of calm, padding drums in the verse and crashing cymbals in the chorus. A slow burner of a track but it is a spectacular one nonetheless.

It is a gentle start to ‘Graveyard Whistling’ with lilting guitar chords ebbing and flowing wonderfully before hushed vocals are brought in adding great harmonies to this stunningly fragile piece of music. Following on is ‘Hostage’, a complete opposite to the last, with a steady pounding beat, deep prominent bass line and vocals with a nonchalant yet commanding edge. The whole atmosphere is 90’s rock-esque with a slightly grungy undertone but with the swagger of 80’s metal bands which makes for one pretty great song.

Dank sounds and a lethargic atmosphere open ‘Trip Switch’ as echoey notes and descending, screeching guitar chords make up the verses. While the vocal harmonies are found backing up rhythms and melodies found prominently in the catchy choruses.‘Lover, Please Stay’ is a slow, ballad-esque track with gently plucked guitar strings backing up soft, soaring vocal harmonies. Extra sounds and melodies are brought in whilst still complimenting those brilliant vocals producing a truly emotional track with a very personal lyrically journey throughout.

Opening with a quick rhythm, ‘Drawing Pins’ has the vocals to match that percussive delivery through their fast, jumpy style. Cymbals crash and guitars chug through the choruses creating a huge moment, built upon with big riffs during the rock-fuelled middle eight before ending on one final, throw everything at it chorus.

Fast paced, catchy guitar melodies are the mainstay throughout the rock and roll influenced ‘Painkiller’ whose pounding drums, shouting vocals and chaotic cymbals complete this gargantuan track very well. We finish up with ‘Tempt You (Evocatio)’ which is a much calmer affair from the off with fragile vocal harmonies and soft, muffled piano chords. Intermittent beats give this an almost soulful R’n’B feel are added creating a rhythmical and quite sultry piece of music. This isn’t really something you would expect from this alt-rock band but that surprising edge and the great way in which it is delivered, makes this one all the more special to finish this album on.

Check out the video for the single ‘Wake Up Call’ taken from the album below:

To find out more about Nothing But Thieves visit their website, their Facebook page or you can follow them on Twitter – @NBThieves

Album Cover:

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