Brit rock’s strange fruits step up.
From it’s Storm Thorgerson artwork to the blaring clarity of main man Bruce Soord’s crisp production job, Someone Here Is Missing is every inch the consummate modern progressive indie rock album. Fans of Porcupine Tree and Radiohead that have yet to discover Soord and his band are advised to get up to date quickly, because this is also the moment when The Pineapple Thief outgrow all such comparisons and start to punch at the same weight as their more commercially successful forebears. Songs like the pulsating Wake Up The Dead, which comes replete with brooding Nine Inch Nails-style electronics, and the lilting menace of the title track, tap into a very British sense of disenchantment and pathos that can be traced back to Pink Floyd, but in contrast to their peers, Soord and co seem content with the limitations of a four-piece guitar band and do most of their experimenting within that seemingly restrictive framework. The results, from the skittering electro-psych of Nothing At Best to the oddly moving So We Row are extremely classy and frequently mesmerising.
Sea of Tranquility
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Teaming up with K-Scope for the release of the excellent Tightly Unwound brought The Pineapple Thief to the notice of what had been, up until that point a largely disinterested prog audience, Someone Here Is Missing should see the band go one step further and rival Muse and Porcupine Tree for attention with the prog and mainstream masses. This is a serious contender for album of the year - don't miss out, it really is that good.
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Whether you are a prog fan in general, nu-prog junkie, NEARfester, lover of edgy alternative/indie/college rock, fan of the Kscope label or even the 4AD record label - or you just want to hear something different and new, than Someone Here is Missing will satisfy the appetite for music connoisseurs who hunger for melodies beyond the radio or television dial. Purveying dark sentiment with an often rambunctious temperament, that eases back down to being moody and atmospheric, The Pineapple Their deliver a record beyond enigmatic proportions.
What is Music?
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The Pineapple Thief sound like they’ve grown up with Pink Floyd and Nirvana rather than Pink Floyd and King Crimson- rather than sounding like they’ve absorbed from their surroundings, they sound like they were already kind of there, and have simply taken some time to hone their big ideas into the right package. Sure, there are some octave chords and post-2000 Massive Attack moments; I would be surprised if one of them didn’t own a copy of Team Sleep, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that by being more urgent, aggressive, and perhaps a handful of years more contemporary, they sound like that most rare of musical entities- a young progressive rock band. More than that, they are really talented too. And accessible. Progressive? Accessible? “Surely not!” I hear you cry, but believe me, if you can’t get into Someone Here is Missing, you are never going to get leftfield guitar music.
This English band was braught into existence in 2000 and has published no fewer than nine albums since their maiden trip set by Abducting the Unicorn in 2001. In other words, almost a decade is now under the bridge, along which refined and melancholic music lovers have been steadily scrutinizing the work of this enigmatic formation led by the talented Bruce Soord. Alert as they were to the set of induced breeding and focused discussions on various forums, fans of Radiohead, Anathema and Porcupine Tree must have been awaken by the primal scream of these kleptomaniac, frugivorous animals. Thus, none should accuse us of exaggerating, as we state that the discography of this discrete phenomenon suffered at least from a strong identity crisis, notwithstanding the intrinsic quality of their productions.
Lords of Metal
The Pineapple Thief delivers a more than solid record: not only is every song charming in its own way, this brainchild of Bruce Soord manages to re-invent itself in a delightful way. His style has become a very recognizable one without becoming an exercise in repetition. The production is impressive: very tight and heavy, yet still having lots of layers. This new record sees The Pineapple Thief kick up the heaviness a notch in their compositions, and they fare well by it.
CLASSIC ROCK PRESENTS PROG
The Pineapple Thief are primed to become an overnight success roughly 10 years after they began.
Working at a pace that can best be described as slow and steady. Soord recruited a band and built both an audience and a body of work that was mostly overlooked and massively underrated until the band signed with Kscope and released 2008s Tightly Unwound, the first album on the label, It deserved all the praise it garnered and then some. It sold too - not enough that Soord couldn't go to the shops without being molested - but enough to pique interest at what the band might do next. If Soord and the band felt, any pressure to follow what was fast becoming their landmark release, it doesn't show. The musical references - Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Elbow - that got the press in a lather the last time around are all intact, though Someone Here Is Missing is an altogether more rounded and somehow more expansive set. It's better, too: better songs, sharper production, more experimental yet somehow more cohesive. There's elements of Muse, latter day Rush and even the sadly obscure School of Fish, though we doubt that last one's deliberate. The opening track, Nothing at Best, even hints at Pretty Hate Machine-era Nine Inch Nails, Soord creeping in like a tooled-up Trent Reznor nursing a grudge. The subject matter - a one-sided relationship in decay - suits the brooding, electronic thrum bubbling away just below the surface, as does Soord's barely concealed resentment and bitterness, biting the lyrics off one word at a time.
Preparation for Meltdown's as upbeat as you might imagine and will act as fuel for those critics who argue that Soord's true ambition is to be sitting in a tree with Radiohead, K-l-S-S-I-N-G. Admittedly. it has Radiohead's feel for the dramatic: an escalating sense that you're rising and falling, buoyed along by the arrangement, but the Oxford band have never sounded as forceful since they shrugged off the distorted glories that made The Bends sing. Which might make you think that Someone Here is Missing might be an exercise in the adoration of other bands; it's not. The title track, a steady and unsettling mesh of strings laid across a harried guitar and plaintive vocal is both stirring and unsteadying. You can't help but feel the paranoia itch your skin. The State We're in and Barely Breathing both beautifully understated, while Show a Little Love sounds like it does anything but, charged and restless, pushing on to its thrashing, defiant end.