Nothing But Thieves
Nothing But Thieves


4.0
excellent

Review

by Green Baron USER (160 Reviews)
March 1st, 2016 | 53 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With an extremely talented vocalist, Nothing But Thieves' first impression displays the band's true talents.

It’s not everyday that you come across a debut album that has the potential to be absolutely huge. Some may impress in quality, but very few capture the aura of the musical zeitgeist in a way that makes listeners feel like they are going to be the next big thing as well. Nothing But Thieves are a five-piece alternative rock band from Essex, England, and despite being formed back in 2012, they’ve never really reached any semblance of popularity in the United States until late 2015, when their single “Trip Switch” rocketed its way up the alternative charts. In Britain, they’ve managed to get a sliver of recognition every here and there, although they’re far from being a household name still. Their sound is accessible, they’re signed to a major label, and they’re a damn great band to boot – all the cards are right in front of them.

One of the first things recognizable about Nothing But Thieves is Conor Mason’s vocals. His versatility as a singer is just as commendable as his voice, and this album does a great job at displaying the best of multiple worlds. Mason has a naturally high singing voice, but he varies his style throughout. On most tracks, he soars to great heights, belting out the words at the top of his lungs. Drawing influence from artists such as Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke and Matthew Bellamy, Mason captures the sound of his inspirations. He can sing with raw emotion on ballads while also carrying a rock star vibe on tracks such as “Hostage” or “Ban All the Music”.

A main part of what makes Nothing But Thieves a premier modern rock debut is the band’s knack for writing memorable hooks. Anchored by Mason’s falsetto, the album’s best tracks such as “Itch” and “Wake Up Call” feature the swoony 23-year-old’s high register on the song’s forefront. On the former, he cries out, I just want to feel something real”, and man, does he sell it. There’s the part before the second chorus where the guitar fades out and all that’s highlighted is the vocals, and it’s one of the best moments on the album (although the guitar solo in “Wake Up Call” comes close). These are songs that will get stuck in your head, and there are a handful on the album that are single-worthy and have the aura of a radio smash.

In addition, the band possesses a group of extremely talented songwriters that manage to fill up twelve tracks on an album without any material that is less than stellar. Part of what makes it such a great listen is its variation; the songs don’t blend together, and each one sticks out due to its own merits. The melodies on Nothing But Thieves are fantastic, and it’s a main part of why they shine amongst a sea of other alternative rock bands. The vocals may be the highlight, but the melodies provide the foundation that allows Mason’s singing to be so wonderful. On ballads like “If I Get High” and “Graveyard Whistling”, the focus easily shifts to the emotion of the moment, and the instrumental work creates an intimate mood that puts further emphasis on the vocals.

Every member of Nothing But Thieves is very talented, and their self-titled debut album is a product of their collective skills. While vocalist Conor Mason stands out the most with his absolute starpower, guitarist Joe Landridge-Brown is responsible for the groovy riffs of “Trip Switch” and “Wake Up Call” and drummer James Price’s percussion work is central in setting the tone of each song, so it’s not just a one-sided affair. With its unique sound and anthemic tone, Nothing But Thieves is one of the greatest debut records of 2016, and a band this gifted at writing melodies and riffs has the potential to go far. On the album’s last track, “Tempt You (Evocatio)”, Mason wistfully croons, “Let me build you something better.” If this is any indication, something better will be pretty legendary.



Recent reviews by this author
Green Day Father of All MotherfuckersLinkin Park One More Light
Incubus (USA-CA) 8Highly Suspect The Boy Who Died Wolf
From Ashes To New Day OneFrank Turner Mittens
user ratings (189)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
wtferrothorn
March 1st 2016


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

glad this got a review. Love this record and really hope they get real big

BigPleb
March 1st 2016


62143 Comments


These guys got their break in my hometown.

Fair play to them.

wtferrothorn
March 1st 2016


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There are a few tracks on the back half of the record that don't live up to their predecessors, but that's mostly because tracks 1-9 are absolutely stunning.

DoofusWainwright
March 1st 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nothing Buckley Thieves



Gets close to plagiarism in places, they still sound nice none the less

LunaticSoul
March 1st 2016


1628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gets close to plagiarism in places, they still sound nice none the less



--



Yeah.. They're obviously smart, they will get rich in a couple of years for sure. Hope they don't sell-out too quickly, Lightswitch is already a step forward the thin line between good commercial rock and crap poppy tune. Gosh that chorus is so-so ready for a Vodafone commercial or some stuff like that



I do however enjoy this

wtferrothorn
March 1st 2016


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well we're not getting any Jeff Buckley albums anytime soon (aside for that compilation coming out in a couple days) for obvious reasons. I've always enjoyed the more explosive side of rock, so Buckley-esque vocals paired up with this type of instrumentation is a dream come true.

DoofusWainwright
March 1st 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I'll listen to this again and see if I can bump my rating, it's definitely good stuff but on first listen it was hard to listen past some of the more obvious Buckley worshipping

wtferrothorn
March 1st 2016


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well if they we're going to worship a singer, Buckley ain't a bad choice.

DoofusWainwright
March 1st 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

True. There's something of Buckley in the compositions and instrumentation at times too.



Still, like you say, not the worst artist to crib from

Ebola
March 1st 2016


3927 Comments


Great review. Need to check this out, have had it recommended a handful of times.

LotusFlower
March 1st 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can hear the Buckley influence, but I don't think it's overwhelming enough to claim plagiarism.

LotusFlower
March 1st 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tracks 1-9 are absolutely stunning.



[2]

Kupasexy15
March 2nd 2016


334 Comments


I've been hearing "Trip Switch" ad nauseum on my local alternative station (I

Kupasexy15
March 2nd 2016


334 Comments


I don't know why the rest of my comment was cut off...anyway, I wasn't too impressed by "Trip Switch," but with Green Baron's endorsement, perhaps I will give this a look.

Green Baron
March 2nd 2016


25137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Trip Switch is far from the best song on here, rest is a lot more energetic/upbeat and features much better vocals, which really isn't highlighted on it.

LotusFlower
March 2nd 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

k.

zakalwe
March 2nd 2016


33094 Comments


Whereabouts in Essex are these lads from? Basildon? I'll 5 it.

wtferrothorn
March 2nd 2016


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Apparently they're from Southend-on-Sea according to their wiki page.

zakalwe
March 2nd 2016


33094 Comments


That'll be a 4.5 then, probably skag heads.

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 3rd 2016


36701 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I only listened to a few songs off this, but they struck me as a less talented version of Muse. Were my instincts correct or should I reconsider?

Digging: Cloud Nothings - The Shadow I Remember



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy