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Nothing But Thieves - Nothing But Thieves (Album Review)

Friday, 23 October 2015 Written by Laura Johnson

This self-titled effort may be Nothing But Thieves’ debut, but the Southend five piece display an aptitude for the polished and eclectic throughout. Despite a few misgivings they show great potential, balancing slick pop-rock with the odd trip into darker territory, though in which direction they will ultimately head remains unclear.

Conor Mason, the band’s frontman, has an amazing vocal range, instantly flaunted on the opener, Excuse Me, but could do with reining it in from time to time. His falsetto will not be for everyone and grates a little as he strays into Matt Bellamy territory. In the lower registers, his voice really flourishes.

It's on Wake Up Call that the band really come into their own. The sound is more comfortable, the vocals relaxed and the pop-rock mix perfectly balanced. 

Itch takes things down a slightly murkier path in its opening minute, promising to stretch the band further, but it’s not long before a radio-friendly chorus kicks in, which is ultimately a disappointing turn for the formulaic.

It’s not until we reach If I Get High that the pace really relents for the first time. The acoustic ballad is where Mason’s vocal proficiency shines through, as he sings: “If I get high enough, will I see you again?” On Lover, Please Stay he truly excels, delivering an impressive and heartfelt performance to make the song one of the more notable on the record.

You could be led to believe by its title that Graveyard Whistling will find Nothing But Thieves finally embracing the dark side. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. They in fact go completely the other way, delving into a questionable mix of pop-rock, dance and ‘90s balladeering. Where that song falls short, Hostage gets it right as its dirty synth beats create a gloriously gloomy electronic backdrop for a toe-tapping pop melody.

Painkiller, the penultimate track, would have been the perfect end to a dynamic record. Instead, Nothing But Thieves opt for the death rattle that is Tempt You (Evocatio), slowing the tempo at a crucial point and drawing things to a flat close.

Nothing But Thieves Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri October 23 2015 - LEEDS Wardrobe
Sat October 24 2015 - GLASGOW G2
Mon October 26 2015 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
Tue October 27 2015 - NORWICH Waterfront Norwich
Wed October 28 2015 - BIRMINGHAM Rainbow Bar
Fri October 30 2015 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
Sat October 31 2015 - BRIGHTON Patterns
Sun November 01 2015 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Mon November 02 2015 - BRIGHTON Haunt
Tue November 03 2015 - LONDON Old Blue Last
Thu November 26 2015 - BRISTOL Thekla
Fri November 27 2015 - BELFAST Bar Sub
Sat November 28 2015 - DUBLIN Academy 2
Sun November 29 2015 - LIVERPOOL Arts Club

Click here to compare & buy Nothing But Thieves Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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