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
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
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.
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