Nothing But Thieves
Broken Machine


4.0
excellent


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm not made by design.

Nothing But Thieves is one of the more interesting bands to emerge in the past decade, lead vocalist Conor Mason is without a doubt very talented and their songwriting, while not perfect, is definitely of a higher level than some of their peers. Their self-titled debut is a fantastic piece of work for the newcomers, and two years later here we are with Broken Machine.

This is not a sophomore slump to put it bluntly, it's exactly what it should've been. It's everything their previous work was but far more ambitious and experimental. At times almost sounding like they've taken inspiration from Muse, which shouldn't come as no surprise with the two touring together. The opening track, "I Was Just A Kid" makes that abundantly clear by using the same type of spacey, electronic guitar tones.

"Live Like Animals" and "I'm Not Made By Design" are both highlight tracks and significant signs of a progression from their initial sound. The experimentation, while not too extreme, is noticeable but fits in perfectly with the sound they had established already. Lead single, "Amsterdam", is an energetic rock tune that sounds out from the rest of the tracklisting, and generally speaking one of the better cuts as is.

Not everything is a winner though. A couple of the songs here just feel like filler, which is a let down given how great most of the songlisting is. "Sorry" is probably one of the most predictable songs they could've ever written, sadly, and "Afterlife" is a weak point to close the album out on. At some points, the electronic parts of songs seem a little awkward and almost unnecessary, none more apparent than on the title track.

The potential this band has is immense, and while Broken Machine isn't perfect, it is worth checking out for newcomers to this band. It's a great sign of what's to come from the band further down the line.


user ratings (65)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
LethalPaintball
September 13th 2017


450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hope you're all having a great day

wrote up something about this on my phone, decided to edit it a bit and publish it as there were no reviews up yet

feedback and criticism always welcome

Digging: Snowing - Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit

Dewinged
September 13th 2017


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice this got a review, thanks Lethal. Agree with you on your songs picks. "Sorry" sucks and "Live Like Animals" has that sick riff... Crazy track.



Enjoyable album.

Digging: Zola Jesus - Okovi

Evokaphile
September 13th 2017


4638 Comments


Nice. Just downloaded this but havent jammed it yet. Will soon. Pos'd.

Digging: Ufomammut - 8

VaxXi
September 13th 2017


4019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not feeling this album as much as their first one. It seems to be pushing the "alternative" side more than the poppier side that made the s/t so much fun to listen to.

LethalPaintball
September 13th 2017


450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah im with you man, i dig the s/t more but this is still great and at the end of the day at least they didnt muck up like royal blood did

VaxXi
September 13th 2017


4019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well royal blood was never good to begin with

Green Baron
September 13th 2017


23840 Comments


Sorry is lame as fuck
Amsterdam goes hard though

Digging: Brand New - Science Fiction

trackbytrackreviews
September 13th 2017


3312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like the black cover of the deluxe version so much more tbh

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2017


15719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album

VaxXi
September 13th 2017


4019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah this album is dangerously treading the line of boring, make it poppier and drag the "jeff buckley meets muse" sound back.

Dewinged
September 14th 2017


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I like the black cover of the deluxe version so much more tbh"



This, love it too.

FullOfSounds
September 14th 2017


15458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this seemed super boring on first listen

trackbytrackreviews
September 14th 2017


3312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I definitely liked the debut more



Sorry works so much better as a song with the acoustic version that's included in the deluxe version for sure

NorwichScene
September 14th 2017


2314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Singer sounds like an annoying girl sometimes. Had to turn it off

Digging: Gang of Youths - Go Farther in Lightness

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2017


14916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

'Live Like Animals' is my guilty pleasure jam of 2017.



All the stuff that doesn't sound a little bit like Royal Blood is really tedious and sickly though, moreso than even the debut.



Keep 'Kids', 'Amsterdam', 't/t', 'Animals' and at a real push 'Made By Design'...the rest needs killing by fire.

Digging: Micah P. Hinson - Micah P. Hinson Presents The Holy Strangers

Groundking
September 14th 2017


166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"I like the black cover of the deluxe version so much more tbh"



Plus (if you get rid of second Sorry and Particle tunes) Number 13 is a much better song to end on than Afterlife which is very eh.



Amsterdam, t/t, Aminals and Made By Design are such great tunes. Really like this.

Bigpapad
September 14th 2017


94 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Man, really disappointed in this considering how great their debut was. The first half has some great tracks:

the opener, Amsterdam, (the incredible) title track, Animals, and then after Design it just takes a straight nose dive. Got so bad I could barely complete a third listen, just overtly boring.



Also, what was up with that closing track(on the non-deluxe, deluxe tracks are alright)? That was such a nothing song.

trackbytrackreviews
September 14th 2017


3312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The real MVP of the deluxe version is Reset Me though, such an energetic track

Toondude10
September 14th 2017


11309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Love this band, better than Muse in every way

Digging: Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2017


14916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

'better than Muse in every way'



lowering the bar to an inch off the ground always helps



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