Nothing but honest men
Every other day, they say Rock is dead. And then, the day after, a new Rock band pops up, proving the adage wrong again and again. Also, older (and outright old) Rock bands keep popping back up (see: The Dirt, Netflix’s upcoming biopic about the infamous Mötley Crüe, which appears to be somewhat grittier than Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, arguably not such a hard thing to do). Let’s stick to new stuff for now, because it’s always interesting hearing new blood rocking like in the olden days, albeit always slightly differently…
The crop of the week is Nothing but thieves, a young British band (already a good start) that’s been making the rounds in recent years with their blend of powerful classic-rock infused alt-rock sound. Their biggest hit to date is probably “Amsterdam”, a highly efficient tune that conveys all the nervousness of their music, as well as the level of control they often showcase, being able to dial it up and down throughout a 3-minute song with beautiful dexterity. It doesn’t hurt that their lead singer, Conor Mason, is very good at his job, even when compared to some of his prestigious predecessors — think Royal Blood in recent years, Radiohead in the slightly more distant past.
The Radiohead analogy is not so completely far fetched either: even though the band hasn’t (yet) shown the breadth of musical experimentation that their forebearers have — possibly to their benefit — and their current sound is more akin to 90’s-era Radiohead production, the Mason-led crew nonetheless displays remarkable levels of nuance in slower tracks like “Trip Switch”, down to “If I Get High”. Again showing their interesting controlling abilities: it would just be easier to always keep it at 11, but they know where to find 6 too. And 6 is a good number for free men (pun meant for 30+ year-old readers only).
Then came the track I discovered them with, taken from their latest 2018-borne EP, What did you think when you made this way? — “Forever & ever more”. Despite my earlier point on their occasionally subdued sound, that song is outright anthemic-rock material, with powerful guitar riffs, high pitched vocals, a great bridge / chorus section and perfect semi-old-school sounding rock production (that is, old-school with better overall sound quality and mixing, thank you technology). The latter section of the song still manages to display their love for dialing it up, down, then back up again for a full-on finish, which will leave most if not all listeners satisfied.
Thus leaving us wanting for me. You hear us, guys? Hurry!