When you think of progressive rock; bands like Yes and Pink Floyd spring immediately to mind, but in this day and age the term often gets attached to bands by lazy journalists to describe a band that doesn’t fit into any obvious category. However English four piece The Pineapple Thief, fronted by lead singer Bruce Soord, are one band that are busy trying to live up to their progressive rock label.
Their latest release ‘All the wars’ is a provoking album. The thoughtful lyrics guide you through the minds inner workings as Bruce sings about the various conflicts encountered in daily life. While he is an acolyte of Thom Yorke-esque vocals, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; his very raw emotional voice combines well with the band that uses cleverly placed dynamics to help paint a vivid emotional picture.
However compared to earlier albums such as ‘Someone Here Is Missing’ which really did push boundaries and break rules, I can’t help feeling ‘All The Wars’ feels somewhat timid and lacklustre in comparison.
‘Build A World’ in particular seems to suffer from repetitive lyrics and sees Bruce slipping into a bordering on tedious drone. The down beat melody of the song seems to be juxtaposed with the lyrics that suggest building a new and more optimistic future.
There are good bits about the album; the bands use of a string orchestra certainly adds an extra dimension to some of the songs. ‘Last Man Standing’ is a great example of this as we hear the quiet pain in Bruce’s voice build up and burst into an explosion of anger with weighty riffs and pounding drums, only to be joined by the string orchestra which rises and falls to reflect the mood of the song. The band certainly knows how to take charge of your emotions.
‘Reaching Out’ is another good song, and probably the most experimental on the album with added synths and exuberant solos to tease the listener. Sadly though this is the last song of the album, so just as the band is really hitting its stride, it’s all over leaving you with a feeling of anti-climax.
It’s a good album, but very safe which is not something you would normally associate with The Pineapple Thief.