Review Summary: Like Anathema’s latest, Soord and company have infused this new album with an exuberant energy. With the combination of this new energy and the pieces they’ve built over their careers, the members of The Pineapple Thief have written their best album
The Pineapple Thief is-
Bruce Soord- Guitars/Vocals
Steve Kitch- Keyboards/Synths
Jon Sykes- Bass
Keith Harrison- Drums
Part of the reason why Anathema’s album “We’re Here Because We’re Here” is so good is that it introduces things they have never done before, while still improving on their trademark sound. Quite similarly, ‘Someone Here is Missing’ introduces us to some new tricks up The Pineapple Thief's sleeve while strengthening their foundation. They’ve produced several albums that built their repertoire of sound- at times ranging from Radiohead to Muse to Porcupine Tree. Obviously, they’re all great bands to build a sound around, yet their last effort, “Tightly Unwound”, was stagnant and without purpose. They seemed comfortable with the state of things, and while it’s an pleasant album to listen to, it doesn’t inspire any sort of excitement. Like Anathema’s latest, Soord and company have infused this new album with an exuberant energy. With the combination of this new energy and the pieces they’ve built over their careers, the members of The Pineapple Thief have written their best album yet.
I picked up the download off of iTunes and expected an album similar to their recent few, but was immediately hit over the head with ‘Nothing At Best’. Instead of mellotrons and Radiohead-esque toned keyboards, ‘Nothing At Best’ sports dizzying arpeggiated synths and aggressively distorted guitars. The song moves forward at a much faster pace than anything I’ve ever heard from them before, and perfectly demonstrates why this album is more successful. It’s far more interesting, and actively pulls in the listener. Once the quickened pace is established, a slow or quiet part is a welcomed change of pace. Rather than having to fight off being bogged down, the band can relish in the slower moments before diving headfirst back into the fracas. Diversity in music is a necessity, and The Pineapple Thief’s addition of faster tempi, quick synth lines, and harder edged guitar parts provide the tools to round out their toolbox.
Soord maintains his characteristic vocal delivery, with a slow syllabic meter and lengthy notes. While I don’t think he’s necessarily grown in his vocal style, the energy behind him does well to enhance the melody. Even in the album’s slowest song, ‘Barely Breathing’, the layers of instruments behind him help to make the whole experience far more interesting. In ‘Show A Little Love’, he incorporates little tricks into the guitar part to back up the vocals that help to show how much more involved each instrument sounds in the creation of the whole song.
They still miss some cool opportunities, like the end of ‘3000 Days’. They hit the end of that song hard, but it lacks the kind of riff that seals the deal on those kinds of endings. I kept thinking it was about to launch into it, but it never did. I’m willing to cough that up to my own personal tastes, but it at least demonstrates where they can still grow.
This is a huge step for The Pineapple Thief, and forces them back into relevancy. While it’s clear they have learned a lot from bands like Radiohead and Porcupine Tree, it isn’t nearly as easy to pick out directly-inspired moments. It’s a much more organic album, and is a fun and exciting listen. Every bit of their sound has been improved, and I’m really excited to see where they’ll go from here.