We've been pretty excited to hear this debut full-length album from this great little five piece from Essex. The self titled Nothing But Thieves is a compilation of everything that identifies this band's character, and their progression from their humble beginnings in 2012. Think Queens Of The Stone Age fronted by Thom Yorke mixed with Royal Blood with a ton more falsetto. Supporting Arcade Fire, George Ezra, Twin Atlantic & also performing at festivals across Europe after a well planned single & EP release schedule, has set these plucky youngsters up for a fantastic debut release.
From the opener 'Excuse Me', you can hear the maturity of the song-writing, this band feel world-weary but still have the vitality to go on and share their struggles. Speaking of the opener, Nothing But Thieves kicks off with a coincidentally seasonal, haunting opener. Smatterings of falsetto carry this tune through to its rousing climax, “excuse me while I run / I really gotta get out of here”.
'Ban All the Music' is in stark contrast to the opener 'Excuse me'. With its high energy, it is a powerful rock tune to shake the cobwebs out on a cold October morning. This is a song about the garbage music that gets released elsewhere by the powers that be. “ban all the music, it's all gone wrong”, we can't help but mirror the feeling sometimes *cough*x-factor*cough*.
'Itch' is another one of their more well known tracks, released as a single in march, this one has even made it onto the Radio 1 playlist as well as achieving the Hottest Record in the World accolade from the Zane Lowe Show (now no longer hosted by Zane Lowe). Its a well rounded rock song with powerful wailing lyrics. All the adequate distortion on the guitars gives this song a gritty feel, tying the first quarter of the album together and maintaining rock & roll credentials.
Lead Vocalist man Conor Mason possesses a good singing voice, something not particularly common with rock bands, but it is a pleasant surprise. The second quarter of the album softens up a little and opens the band up to their sensitivities. 'If I Get High', 'Graveyard Whistling' and 'Lover, Please Stay' are all closer to the vocal styling more akin to some of the more popular R&B vocalists at the minute. A welcome addition, this shows versatility and gives us confidence that there are many avenues this band can take after this release.
Nothing But Thieves begins strongly, softens up a little in the middle and comes right back around in the end to slap you in the face with a brilliant bit of rock music. Well worth a listen, stream, download or if you're old school, actually purchase a physical copy.