Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves

U.S. Release: 2/5/16 via RCA Records

5/7 stars

History has repeated itself once again. The United States is a half step behind the British on the music front.

Last October, London’s indie heartthrobs Bastille tweeted praises for fellow Englishmen Nothing But Thieves. Their self-titled debut album had just dropped to the lauding masses, but those of us bound stateside had to wait a few more months for it to bridge the Atlantic Ocean. Then Feb. 5 arrived.

RCA Records released the album. The band has since booked a slew of upcoming U.S. shows, performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and even released a music video starring RJ Mitte (aka Walter Jr., aka Flynn, aka if you’re not a “Breaking Bad” fan this makes no sense to you).

It’s safe to say the album is a hit. Nothing But Thieves merges alternative modernity with rocking guitars to create their alluring sound. Lead singer Conor Mason’s vocals are first class. His pipes have the purity of a pop star and the strength of a seasoned veteran. It’s difficult to place this group into a specific genre. They mix watery indie guitar licks and distorted power chords while keeping a hint of pop sensibility. Their melodies glue themselves to the underside of your skull without making you want to bang your head against the nearest brick. The sheer catchiness of these tracks transports the American listener back to a day when Fall Out Boy was king and Green Day practically owned radio. Nothing But Thieves are obviously far from pop-punk, but they trigger a similar feeling of empowerment in listeners. These guys are making rock music with a contemporary twist that appeals to their generation.

Each track is like a single. It takes all of 51 seconds for the opening track, “Excuse Me”, to drop jaws by showcasing Mason’s vocal versatility. The same is true of “Itch”, which is fit for a full-volume blast. “Trip Switch” captures the personality of the album through its poppy chorus and its tasty alt-rock drum and guitar pocket. It’s a great segue into the depths of the chilling ballad, “Lover, Please Stay”. Grab the deluxe album to experience the irresistibly syncopated verses and grimy guitar solos of “Hanging” or the Muse-esque “Six Billion”. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s the rundown.

Italicized tracks are only on the deluxe album.

  1. Excuse Me
  2. Ban All the Music
  3. Wake Up Call
  4. Itch
  5. If I Get High
  6. Graveyard Whistling
  7. Hostage
  8. Trip Switch
  9. Lover, Please Stay
  10. Drawing Pins
  11. Painkiller
  12. Tempt You (Evocatio)
  13. Honey Whiskey
  14. Hanging
  15. Neon Brother
  16. Six Billion

Thank heavens the Brits have done it again. This album is the real deal. Nothing But Thieves deserve nothing but praise, and they’re out to steal your heart.

 

Seriously though, check out:

“Lover, Please Stay”

“Hanging”

“Itch”