Nothing But Thieves still have to work out who they really are.
Released: 16th October 2015
From the close comforts of 2000 Trees and Reading & Leeds to the slightly more salubrious surroundings of Japan’s Summer Sonic, Nothing But Thieves have had a fair number of stops on the festival circuit this season. Not to mention a pretty major show in Europe supporting Muse. All in a day’s work, hey? The band’s lack of full-length hasn’t stopped them from living out the quintessential rock star dream. But now, finally, does the self-titled offering live up to the hype?
Right from the start, Nothing But Thieves make their diverse influences clear. It’s not ‘just a rock album’. But what is nowadays? Vocally, ‘Lover, Please Stay’ and ‘Wake Up Call’ channel Alex Turner-like swagger. “We met when we were young. I told you where to go. You had those creepers on, you showed me how to roll,” croons vocalist Conor Mason. They’re punchy, hard-hitting and have curveballs to keep you on the tip of your toes.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, ‘If I Get High’ and ‘Graveyard Whistling’ border on ballads. Envisage eerie synths and vocals to match. That, topped off with an instrumental drive in anthems like ‘Itch’ and a hint of blues found in ‘Tempt You’, it’s fair to say that at times the record can seem a little overpowering.
Incorporating so many different elements is a bold move: on the plus side it doesn’t let the band be pigeonholed, but at the same time it feels as if Nothing But Thieves still have to work out who they really are. Emma Matthews