The Pineapple Thief Share New Single – “Uncovering Your Tracks”

The Pineapple Thief have shared a new single, ‘Uncovering Your Tracks’ from their recent album Dissolution, out now through Kscope. They also recently announced more live dates for Feb/March 2019, where they will be once again be joined by Gavin Harrison (King Crimson/Porcupine Tree). Continue reading

Music Industry Veteran Simon Glacken Ranks His Favorite Kscope Label Releases

The bastion of progressive, challenging and heavy music in the world, Kscope is celebrating ten years in business in 2018! Cheers! To help us celebrate, music industry veteran Simon Glacken of For The Lost PR has shared his favourite releases from the Kscope label. Continue reading

The Pineapple Thief – Dissolution

Recent years have seen UK progressive art rockers The Pineapple Thief hit a sweet spot of a niche between explorative and catchy songwriting. With the likes of All The Wars and Magnolia leaning either side respectively, 2016’s Your Wilderness straddled both thresholds and resulted in their most successful album and, arguably at that point, their creative peak. Poised for their biggest European tour, both in terms of dates and venue capacities, their latest album, Dissolution (all Kscope), once again continues this trend. Continue reading

The Pineapple Thief – Where We Stood (Live/DVD)

In their long and storied career, The Pineapple Thief have simultaneously proven to offer a consistently excellent catalogue and yet have maintained a mostly, near cult status of being under the radar. Having garnered critical acclaim since their inception in 1999 but never truly hitting commercial peaks of some of their peers, 2016 seemed to be a major step forward for them. The addition of guitarist Darran Charles and iconic drummer Gavin Harrison also seemed to light a greater fire in the band and in part led to career highlight album Your Wilderness (Kscope) and a resulting tour which included their biggest headline show to date at London’s Islington Assembly Hall. Recorded on that very night, Where We Stood shows one of Britain’s premier alternative/progressive bands in their strongest and most vibrant form to date. Continue reading

The Pineapple Thief- Your Wilderness

The Pineapple Thief- Your Wilderness album cover ghostcultmag

 

Recent years have seen The Pineapple Thief mastermind Bruce Soord in an experimental and pace changing mindset to say the least. From the electronica driven prog of his Wisdom Of Crowds album, his reflective solo album and PT’s previous, more hard rock and riff focused album Magnolia (Kscope); charting Soord’s course has been an unenviable task. So it isn’t too surprising that, against his own omission previously, that latest album Your Wilderness(Kscope) is somewhat a return to more familiar territory.

To say that this is a return to their roots is a quite a disservice but Your Wilderness definitely fits closer to the mold of the likes of Someone Here Is Missing(Kscope); particularly in its soothing and smooth atmosphere which proves, for the most part, uplifting with hints of melancholy. Ultimately however Your Wilderness performs a happy medium between such albums and the sharper counterpart Magnolia.

There is plenty of evidence of its predecessors more refined and harder edge, such as in the way “Tear You Up” builds into a more metallic territory, or in the majority of the album’s succinct song durations and structures. Not that fans lost on the way won’t find plenty to restore their faith, with plenty of exploration and layers and the near ten minute “The Final Thing On My Mind”. The addition of Gavin Harrison on has also added a much greater dexterity and dimension behind the drum kit.

Your Wilderness has a difficult role to fulfill coming after such a polarising and somewhat unique release in Magnolia, in that it has to appeal to both the fans perhaps lost at that point yet not feel like a backwards step for them; and they do so with seeming ease. Still as accessible as their brand of prog has always been but with enough deep intricacies to offer something new each time. Some will say this is back to form, but this is also a perfect evolutionary step for one of Britain’s greatest prog forces.

8.0/10

CHRIS TIPPELL

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Tim Bowness – Stupid Things That Mean The World

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There is a modest earnestness to much of Tim Bowness’ third solo album Stupid Things That Mean The World (InsideOut), as the singer-songwriter continues to explore the direction and timbre of his more recent works. Openly stating that Stupid Things… is a continuation of its’ predecessor, Abandoned Dancehall Dreams (InsideOut), Bowness confirms the premise that practice makes (near) perfect, with an eclectic and wistful selection of songs whose charm isn’t just in the pleasant ear candy they first appear to be, but in the reflection and layers that unfurl with repeated listens.

With a warm, friendly  production courtesy of The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord, who also adds moments of lilting guitar and acoustic quality much like he did to Katatonia’s Sanctitude (KScope), on the surface Bowness’ solo work is centred around building a song that sounds simple, often flowering out of an acoustic guitar and unpretentious vocal combination, expanding to contain several strata of multiple, and very appropriate, instrumentation, such as the delicate pedal guitar that enhances ‘Know That You Were Loved’, or the swelling strings and keys that dance in and out of several of the tracks.

Bowness conveys honest emotion and reflection in his words throughout, each line delivered with grace and feeling. He doesn’t push the vocals, staying in a comfortable mid-range, but allows the fine touches of the many players (a veritable who’s who of progressive rocks’ illuminati) to add colour to his ideas and push the dynamics of this most excellently and carefully arranged album, with standout song ‘Sing For Me’ the most well-crafted of songs, rising to a fulfilling and emotive conclusion.

While being far from a melancholy album, indeed the overall sense is one that uplifts, most songs display tinges of regret, sorrow and introspective. Yet where Strange Things… is at its best is in the more experimental songs; the burnt caramel to the honeyed touch of the dream pop surroundings. ‘Press Reset’ is dark rock, ‘The Great Teenage Electric Dream’ shows its temper and the title track is slinky pop, all which adds up to show Strange Things That Mean The World is a welcome addition to the canon of a man who is No-Man no more, but stands as a valued solo artist in his own right.

 

7.5/10

 

STEVE TOVEY

Katatonia – Sanctitude

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Initially pulled together as a tour to promote Dethroned & Uncrowned (KScope), which reworked the bands 2012 album Dead End Kings (Peaceville), the Katatonia acoustic tour of 2014 took on more significance with the decisions to expand the set to a full career-retrospective, booked in cathedrals, churches and chapels, and documented via Sanctitude (KScope)a live DVD (plus audio CD version) filmed at London’s Union Chapel.

With the reverent gothic backdrop of the inside of the chapel, and accompanied on the stage only by candle light and music stands, it is not only in the re-arrangements of the music that this is a different Katatonia, with vocalist Jonas Renske and guitarist Anders “Blakkheim” Nystrom the only remaining members from the band’s “classic” line ups. Even the group for Dead End Kings has been torn apart, with Per Eriksson replaced by Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) and Daniel Moilanen filling in on percussion, for the tour.

Unsurprisingly, the focus of the film is Renske and his world-weary croons and Nystrom’s and his reworked guitar lines. The addition of Soord is beneficial, as his supporting strums, softened backing vocals and supplementary keyboard work swell and embellish the Swedes delicate framing of a selection of their back catalogue.

With the bonus features of the DVD extending to an overlong and, sadly, boring interview only (which is a shame, as Nystrom in particular has a passion for the band that glimpses out of some of his answers that is untapped by the lack of interaction with a presenter), the focus of Sanctitude is the live performance. Unobtrusively filmed so as to feel as though the watcher was front row of the show, the band are sat throughout with Renske displaying dry self-deprecating wit during his low key exchanges with the audience.

While the minimal staging and direction match the stripped down songs, there is a nagging feeling that a shorter set would have made a more striking impact as several of the songs, shorn of their apparel and original guitar lines, sound too similar and at 80 minutes, attention does wander, particularly early on, and it is interesting that the set draws you in as it unfurls rather than impressing from the outset. Indeed, the opening five songs pass by pleasantly and prettily enough, nice renditions that blur together, until ‘One Year From Now’, the first real standout moment, is unveiled, showing just how well an acoustic Katatonia track can be done.

Other notable moments include ‘Sleeper’ and a dark, melancholic ‘Undo You’, while ‘Lethean’ spreads out into an introspective chorus as Renske’s Maynard-esque harmonies lilt and drift with the song. ‘Omerta’ carries a folky edge and ‘The One You Are Looking For’, complete with guest performance from Silje Wergeland (The Gathering), is an understated and sparse ending to the performance. However, the true show-stopping moment is a bare version of the rarely visited ‘Day’ from Brave Murder Day (Avantgarde), the track that first showcased the real template for the Katatonia sound.

Where Renske and Nystrom take the band next will be interesting to see, but one can’t help feeling Katatonia are better with some oomph to their songs. Not one for the casual observer, this is a release for the dedicated as Sanctitude draws a beautiful, if not fully encapsulating, end to another chapter of the bands career.

 

7.5/10

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STEVE TOVEY

 

Katatonia Streaming “Day”

katatonia sanctitude dvd

Katatonia is streaming a live video of “Day” from their upcoming concert film Sanctitude, out in North America on March 31, 2015 (March 30 U.K. & RoW, April 3 Germany) via Kscope, here and here.

Sanctitude was filmed and recorded in the stunning, candle-lit setting of London’s Union Chapel during Katatonia’s May 2014 ‘Unplugged & Reworked’ tour – an intimate acoustic evening performing tracks from the Dethroned & Uncrowned album alongside atmospheric classics from the band’s entire career, stripped and reworked. The 80 minute set features 17 songs across the albums The Great Cold Distance, Viva Emptiness, Brave Murder Day, Last Fair Deal Gone Down, Dead End Kings and Dethroned & Uncrowned, including fan favorite, “Teargas.” The show closes with the sublime “The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here” and a special guest appearance by Norwegian vocalist Silje Wergeland of Dutch legend, The Gathering. The band was also joined on guitar and vocals by The Pineapple Thief frontman and songwriter, Bruce Soord.

All audio on Sanctitude has been mixed and mastered by Bruce Soord, with artwork once more supplied by long-time visual collaborator Travis Smith.

DISC 1:

1. In The White
2. Ambitions
3. Teargas
4. Gone
5. A Darkness Coming
6. One Year From Now
7. The Racing Heart
8. Tonight`s Music
9. Sleeper
10. Undo You
11. Lethean
12. Day
13. Idle Blood
14. Unfurl
15. Omerta
16. Evidence
17. The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here

DISC 2:

Concert Film (80 mins)
Documentary `Beyond The Chapel` (66 mins)

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OMerch Official Site
Northern Music Official Site

Katatonia Releasing Sanctitude DVD on March 31

katatonia sanctitude dvd

Katatonia will be releasing a new concert film Sanctitude in North America on March 31, 2015 (March 30 in the UK & Rest of the World, April 3 in Germany) via Kscope. Watch a trailer here and here.

Sanctitude was filmed and recorded in the stunning, candle-lit setting of London’s Union Chapel during Katatonia’s May 2014 ‘Unplugged & Reworked’ tour – an intimate acoustic evening performing tracks from the Dethroned & Uncrowned album alongside atmospheric classics from the band’s entire career, stripped and reworked. The 80 minute set features 17 songs across the albums The Great Cold Distance, Viva Emptiness, Brave Murder Day, Last Fair Deal Gone Down, Dead End Kings and Dethroned & Uncrowned, including fan favorite, “Teargas.” The show closes with the sublime “The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here” and a special guest appearance by Norwegian vocalist Silje Wergeland of Dutch legend, The Gathering. The band was also joined on guitar and vocals by The Pineapple Thief frontman and songwriter, Bruce Soord.

All audio on Sanctitude has been mixed and mastered by Bruce Soord, with artwork once more supplied by long-time visual collaborator Travis Smith.

DISC 1:

1. In The White
2. Ambitions
3. Teargas
4. Gone
5. A Darkness Coming
6. One Year From Now
7. The Racing Heart
8. Tonight`s Music
9. Sleeper
10. Undo You
11. Lethean
12. Day
13. Idle Blood
14. Unfurl
15. Omerta
16. Evidence
17. The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here

DISC 2:

Concert Film (80 mins)
Documentary `Beyond The Chapel` (66 mins)

Sanctitude will be released in four formats:
Blu-ray DVD in 5.1 surround sound plus ‘Beyond The Chapel’ documentary including brand new interviews with Anders Nystrom & Jonas Renkse.
CD/DVD package – audio / visual set including ‘Beyond the Chapel’ documentary.
Double LP (incl. download code)
Digital download (audio)

Katatonia on Facebook
Katatonia on Myspace
Katatonia on Twitter
Peaceville Official Site
Omerch Official Site
Northern Music Official Site

Build A World Part III – Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief

 

In the final part of 3 part feature on The Pineapple Thief and their excellent new album, Magnolia (KScope), songwriter Bruce Soord spoke to Ghost Cult Magazine about songwriting and side projects…

 

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“It does take a long time, you can’t force it. I have a guitar lying around and when inspiration is dished out then I just pick up the guitar and go. The thing is if you don’t get that magic, that spark immediately then its not going to come if you work at it, you just have to put it aside and leave it for the time being.

“I think it was about 18 months, the song writing. It was a real labour of love.”

The song writing process for Magnolia in actual fact began shortly after the previous album All The Wars (Kscope) was finished giving an indication of how long the process is. Of course this period of time did also see the realisation of Soord’s long awaiting Wisdom Of Crowds side project with Jonas Renske of Katatonia fame. “That has been gestating for a long time, about four years, so that was something I was dipping in and out of with the guy I was writing with. That wasn’t so hard because they were pretty much finished, we just didn’t have the vocals, so getting Jonas down to sing was relatively easy.”

Speaking of Wisdom Of Crowds, and cementing Soord’s reputation was one of prog’s most active components, he confirms that there is more to come from that particular project: “There will be a WoC 2, hopefully next year depending on their time with Katatonia because I know they are planning on the new album… It’s going to be a different this time because Jonas is writing as well. He has already sent me some stuff and ideas, so it’s actually started.”

If this wasn’t enough to have surely earned Soord some time with a cup of tea and slippers, he has also recently finished touring with Katatonia as guitarist on their unplugged tour in support of their stripped down effort Dethroned And Uncrowned (Snapper), an experience that Soord is very appreciative of. “It was great fun, for one the Katatonia guys are hilarious to be on tour with and two, not being the frontman, just the guy at the back who does acoustics is just so easy. It was so relaxed, I could sleep easy.”

This experience touring with a band with a more overtly metal audience (one that is still shared with the prog crowd), plus expressing elsewhere his admiration and love for the likes of King Diamond and other extreme metal acts shows Soord as music lover with a wide taste. Unsurprisingly however it is clear that Prog is where his heart resides the most, and there is one musical venture that he is keen to explore. “The thing I am quite keen to do, whether it will ever see the light of day, is a solo album that’s just me but very much designed for the studio and is a lot more cinematic. Not symphonic, but something very progressive in the sense of long pieces not worried about the verse, chorus song structure and delving into the broad influences I have without worrying about how we are going to do this live.”

Clearly Soord is one of the most musically passionate presences in contemporary rock and prog, and this is perhaps why it is so easy to find that emotional connection to his music; not just because of the familiarity of his music’s tales and feeling, but because he is a hungry music lover, just like the rest of us.

 

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Words by CHRIS TIPPELL

 

Read our review of Magnolia here