Written by: Sage
Genre: Dark Rock/Synthpop /EBM
04 Say Goodbye
06 Krista (Encouraging Remix by Heliosphere)
Initially, I’m not sure what to think about Thought Thieves. You give an album a non-descript name, with non-descript artwork, with fairly non-descript track titles and go on to not really put much information about yourself out there on the internet, well, you’re basically asking to be lost in the fragmented history of underground musical time. There is information about the band itself, but no what the band is about. They describe themselves as “computer free / human friendly” synth-based music and write tracks that are “interesting, though-provoking, and exciting”. So, where the band eases off with the computer-based music they make up four with having four, yes FOUR, synth players. Granted one is also a guitarist, and another is also a bassist, that’s a bit absurd. I find the whole ‘anti-computer’ marketing tactic to be a bit redundant as a modern keyboard is more or less a sound-producing computer. You’re still literally playing it so it gives way for the attribute of human error as well as the ability to accent notes, etc, but as a marketing ploy it seems to falter.
However, when it comes to an artist, their marketing tactics and will to put out actual information about the project are certainly less important than the music itself. What the band itself has to offer is a very synthpop styled dark rock. There are some strong new wave influences and The Cure certainly comes to mind as far as the vocalist is concerned, but his voice doesn’t particularly match the music. Its a bit higher-pitched and sounds more attuned for traditional metal than the gothic-tinged synth music the band plays. The music itself is actually very impressive given the fact that there are four different minds at work in the synth department. Everything is far tighter than you’d expect from a young band with this many musicians. Rhythms are held, melodies are inventive and the bass line moves underneath the music in duel melodies at times. Unfortunately, at times, Thought Thieves, even with all of their talent, can come off as kind of inferior or cheesy. Whether its the lack of atmosphere, or the compressing nature of having so much synth as opposed to instrumentation, I don’t know, but it ends up being very, very cliche, almost childish at some moments.
This review is not in any way meant to be insulting. I’ve been into the type of music that this project is trying to follow for many years and I’ve heard many projects like them come and go before. There’s a certain production quality that has to be matched for this type of music to really catch hold of you. I can’t quite put my finger on what they’re missing. Its not just a combination of the other complaints, there’s some basic “UMPH” missing to their music. The moments that should groove just don’t because of the complete lack of a bottom end of the bass spectrum. You could say that this is music that’s meant to be experienced live in a dance club because the sound man can make the proper adjustments to give the music that type of bottom end. The band has to learn on their own to do this in the studio. There are moments where it begins to come out like in the bridge-moment of “Paralyzed” where it becomes shoegazey for a minute or so before the music becomes tight again. Thought Thieves just have a lot to learn yet. This is only their second EP so any potential fans shouldn’t be completely turned off by this, there’s certainly a lot of room, and a lot of time to grow. Where things like not using backing tracks and not using computers and the like may have seemed like a cool idea at first, perhaps its time to grow past that for the sake of making better music. After all, we all have to grow and evolve as musicians, clinging on to an idea that perhaps made a band what it was years ago will only work to hinder the ability of a band with talent and potential to reach the height of their possible success.