Album Review

Thieves 2

Thieves 2

by Thieves


7.5 / 10
13th November 2012

Reviewed by Ricardo Kerr


Operating on a first-name-only basis, Thieves are a shady anomaly in the land of kiwi music. Kari, Nich, and Jared have clearly set out to make their music speak for itself, like a sonic alias that trumps the usual cult of personality that up-and-comers rely on for hits and page views. Don't believe me? Try finding their Facebook page.

With the release of their second self-titled EP (aka Thieves 2) they have made a statement of grim intent and a clutch of potent tunes to back it up. It might share the same title as their debut EP released in 2010, but the difference that those two years can make is staggering. Across these six songs the band defiantly cherry picks from the worlds of post-punk, krautrock, and indie rock. These loose threads are held together admirably well by an innate understanding of pop music and its sensibilities. “Pop” might be misleading – these songs do have a tendency to get heavy in a way that traditional pop music would never dare – but the melody, harmony, and hooks are never sacrificed for cheap thrills.

The potent 'Microcosm' opens the album and transports us back to the mid 80s where serious looking men in black made seriously brooding music (a la Depeche Mode, Killing Joke, or Echo & The Bunnymen). 'Soma Holiday' is one of the EPs shining, defining moments. The stop-start guitar dynamic, concussive sonic tricks, and blistering percussion make it burn brightly amidst the gloom. Thieves clearly have no problem being noticed among the crowd. All of the power-pop bluster is impressive but it pales in comparison to the moments of clarity where the veneer peels apart to show the clever songwriting chops operating beneath it all. With song titles like 'Soma Holiday' and 'Sudafed' you would be forgiven for thinking that Thieves have pharmaceuticals on the brain – the latter in particular lives up to its narcotic handle. Vacant guitar jangle inter-meshes with strident power chords, rattling the mind and further deranging the senses. Even a song like 'Push' can be seen to have some pretty shady connotations given the EPs medicinal inclinations.

In the 18 minutes of its duration, Thieves 2 is an exhibition of the highest order. You are never left in doubt as to the intentions or credentials of the three behind all of this wondrous noise.


Microcosm
Microcosm, by Thieves
From: Thieves EP, (2012)
http://www.undertheradar.co.nz/review/764/Thieves-2.utr




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