REVIEW: THE PINEAPPLE THIEF – “Dissolution”
Since Y2K, the standard of contemporary progressive rock albums being made keeps reaching new heights with a handful of bands leading the way in their pursuit of artistic excellence. English outfit The Pineapple Thief is a band well and truly ingrained in the 21st century, creating art rock music resembling a lineage of the juggernaut English bands that made rock music history in the 60’s 70’s and 90’s.
The band’s 12th studio album ‘Dissolution’ will be coming out August 31st and sees King Crimson and Porcupine Tree’s drummer Gavin Harrison return for his 2nd appearance on a Pineapple Thief release. Harrison’s drumming enhances the band’s overall quality and it seems likely that he could well become a full time member in the line-up.
The title ‘Dissolution’ stems from front man Bruce Soord’s very prevailing reflection on the fragmentation of modern relationships and trying to disconnect from the delusion of being connected to others through social media and technology. After a few listens it is clear the album delivers in its songwriting, the first single “Far Below” demonstrates the band’s catchy hooks as well as a desire to incorporate jazz keyboards and be truly progressive.
Many of the compositions do not over stretch in length with the exception of “White Mist”, an 11-minute opus with an atmospheric tone, melancholic lyrics and singing alongside some metal guitar strutting. Soord’s sings emotionally “when did you lose control” as the band locks in with their tight musicianship, if you’re a Porcupine Tree fan you might appreciate in “White Mist” some of the sentiments of a song like “Anesthetize”. Other notable songs are “Uncovering Your Tracks” with its haunting background horn and its excellent guitar playing. ‘Dissolution’ balances acoustic folk fragileness with electric guitar rock prowess, it only falls short in sounding at times too much like one of Steven Wilson’s bands particularly with songs like “Try As I Might” and “All That You’ve Got”.
This is an album that has all the familiar traits of a classic conceptual rock album with a nice piano intro, a short acoustic ballad interlude and an epic composition as a closure. 9 songs in total make it a relatively short album but it’s worth giving it a few spins as it grows on you the more times you listen. In contemporary music The Pineapple Thief lives comfortably somewhere between Metal Hammer devotees and NME indie rock hipsters.
‘Dissolution’ will be a great addition to The Pineapple Thief’s catalogue; its modern with a slight nod to the great classic rock bands without ever trying to emulate them. In the last decade the term art rock has become a broad church of bands but if you think rock with an artistic vision and social commentary is dead then may I suggest you try giving this album a go, you won’t be disappointed!