The Pineapple Thief are a progressive rock band who started out way back in 1999 as a solo outlet for the music of singer/songwriter/guitarist Bruce Soord.
So, if you are already sensing the Porcupine Tree comparisons here — right down to those damned PT initials — then welcome to the club. As was the case with PT's Steven Wilson, The Pineapple Thief's Soord followed a remarkably similar path — eventually recruiting a group of like-minded musicians to make his solo project, The Pineapple Thief, into a full time band.
But before you get your panties into a bunch over this, the comparisons basically stop there. And rather than refer to Pineapple Thief as a lowercase "pt," we shall henceforth call them "TPT." Just so we are straight here…
3000 days is an anthology of the seven albums that TPT have released since 1999's Abducting — which was for all intents and purposes a Bruce Soord solo album. Ten years, 3000 days later and, well you get the picture…
The last mention that I'll make of the Porcupine Tree connection here is the fact that TPT signed to K-Scope Records — who brought this release to my attention — upon the urging of none other than Steven Wilson. Just what I need, another prog-rock obsession, right?
Based upon this two-disc sampling of The Pineapple Thief, I have to admit that, yes, I will very likely be looking further into these guys. What can I say?
On songs like the opening "God Bless The Child" for example (taken from a 2006 album called Little Man), Soord demonstrates an undeniable knack for a simple, yet effective melody — even as the song is drenched in layers of acoustic guitars, handclaps, and distinctly exotic, Indian-sounding percussion. So far, so good.
Next, from last year's Tightly Unwound, comes the song "Shoot First." It starts innocuously enough with a rising drum roll, before breaking into a gorgeous burst of guitars and layered harmonies. And I am finding myself getting increasingly hooked. TPT definitely know which buttons to push.
Fans of Radiohead or The Muse are going to eat this band up — at least once the secret gets out. Like Radiohead, the lyrics take a backseat to the musical textures — they are simple but effective. On "Shoot First," the words "you're a beautiful soul/ in a beautiful world/ but the world was left behind" speak softly, but they also speak volumes.
On earlier songs like "Part Zero" (from the 2003 release Variations On A Dream) — Soord's plaintive cry "I'm doing all I can / but all I get is a suicidal plan" plays against a backdrop of alternately lilting acoustic and bludgeoning electric guitars. This is definitely layered stuff that I suspect will reveal far more depth upon repeated listens.
The bottom line is that I really like what I'm hearing so far. I am also most likely just scratching the surface with this review. Short verdict here? The Pineapple Thief are one of those great little discoveries that are sure to reveal far deeper levels of satisfaction the more I listen to them — kind of like, yes, the way I felt when I first heard Porcupine Tree.
I think I may be in trouble here.
The Pineapple Thief's 3000 days is a great overview of the first ten years of this — for now, anyway — largely unknown band. It will be in stores this Tuesday, September 29.
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