Album Review: Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves

Nothing But Thieves

nothing-but-thieves-album-cover-1437136361Released 16th October 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

Buy this album. If I could get away with it those three words, that would have been my review of the eponymous debut album by Nothing But Thieves. It is not going to change your life, but it is going to improve your music library. Imagine a musical world where Jeff Buckley leads The Bends era Radiohead. This, is to my mind, the best way I can describe one of the most exciting pieces of accessible rock music I have heard in years.

Whilst acclaimed debuts tend to follow a path of raucous, raw rock and roll which will gradually become a memory album by album, Nothing But Thieves have produced a stadium-sized work straight away. But rather than hit all the right notes in terms of making sure they hit the right kind of publicity with an obvious rip-off here and some oh-so-controversial lyrics somewhere, the band have focused on making music which people will enjoy and listen to. Repeatedly.

From the moment the opening track, If I Get High, comes on the sound fills the room. Without going down a niche genre route, this album has been created with aural soundscapes in mind. With a mixing team with credits for The Maccabees, U2 and Placebo to name a handful of many and Julian Emery on production, the acclaim deserves to be shared as they have all worked together to make this album what is is.

That brings me to my only disappointment with this album. It does feel a little bit safe within the walls of grandeur. Instead of their ballsy Led Zep live sound, on record it feels more like Simple Minds. Even the album finishes with a steady, pretty number, Tempt You rather than the rock blast of Painkiller, which for my mind would have have been the fireworks at the end of the show.

One of the key aspects of this album is the balanced quality of it which some people will undoubtedly criticise as safe as though having quality tunes throughout is somehow less worthy than sticking a weird number for people to claim is their favourite like The Emperor’s New Clothes.

My prediction is that this album is going to be the catalyst for a band with the potential to be massive; but with great power comes great responsibility. There is going to be pressure and there is also going to be a lot of music fan criticism, as they sound so easy to get into. But with tracks like Hostage and Itch on show then the disappointment of those looking for their own special unsuccessful band will be a happy price to pay.

In case you haven’t got the message yet, if you just enjoy music then go out and buy this album.

Listen to If I Get High here:

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