Having been gaining momentum from their inception in 2012 through a handful of singles and touring with bands like Twin Atlantic and Young Guns, Southend-on-Sea’s Nothing But Thieves have finally dropped their debut LP. The self-titled debut effort kicks off with the epic ‘Excuse Me’, which starts off subdued, with similarities to Muse in their early days. As the chorus kicks in, Conor Mason‘s ethereal vocals drop with an enchanting melody over the full band letting loose.
Mason‘s vocals are superb over the whole of the debut, with the aforementioned track being one of the strongest highlights; crafting some truly beautiful vocal lines across the full album which just draw the listener in hook them straight away. ‘Itch’, ‘Wake Up Call’, and ‘Ban All Music’ all feature superb performances from the singer, and are also all brilliant tracks.
‘Itch’ was the first single put out by the band, and it’s no wonder it was picked up by BBC Radio 1 and added to their playlist. The track has a lot of elements that make it a great song; an infectiously catchy chorus, great instrumentation, and enough grit and rawness to be classed as a rock song but with a pop edge for the radio playability.
There are moments where the tempo of the album slows and shows the band in a different light. In the middle of the album, the double whammy of ‘If I Get High’ and ‘Graveyard Whistling’ changes everything. The slow burner of the former of the track concludes in an epic cacophony of noise that blows all preconceptions that this album wouldn’t live up to much, if there were ever any. The latter comes in with the same approach, but doesn’t wait as long to get things going again and kicks out with a handful of excellent choruses.
The band explode with energy on numerous songs on this album with the punk-fuelled ‘Painkiller’ and the funky ‘Hostage’ which, along with the slower tracks on the LP, give it an even balance.
Written by Ewan MacDonald