In the realms of modern Prog, few bands are as simultaneously revered yet overlooked as contemporary powerhouse of the genre than The Pineapple Thief. A very consistent but a little understated (or at least under the radar for many) back catalogue reached a creative and commercial high on the previous full length All The Wars. Latest album Magnolia (both Kscope) takes the climb to even higher heights.
In the time since the last album, main man Bruce Soord and his cohorts have faced several tests and trials, namely the departure of long-standing sticksman Keith Harrison and the loss of Soord’s close friend Steve Coe, a mentoring figure to him. Such sorrow is worn completely on Soord’s sleeves in Magnolia’s morose lyrics; such as on the tender ‘From Me’. Such lyrical themes offer a sense of fragility to the album, even amongst the albums punchier numbers.
Talking of which, Magnolia is proof of the band’s underestimated ability to write catchy, more upbeat ranged prog anthems. ‘Alone At Sea’ in particular shows an almost party riff vibe, akin to the type The Von Hertzen Brothers are masters of, despite the hints of melancholy beneath its skin.
Certainly the band’s most accessible album to date, at first glance Magnolia is a very simplistic album, but with time it reveals greater intricacies and dimensions, and a darker underbelly based on agony and loss, but without proving overly sullen, another reason why this band is such a vital component to the new prog machine.