Kscope [Release date 31.08.18]
I know, it’s easy to confuse The Pineapple Thief with Porcupine Tree. This perception is only reinforced by the presence of now regular drummer Gavin Harrison. Similarities might normally end there, but in fact Pineapple Thief owe something to Steven Wilson and his various iterations including Blackfield.
‘Dissolution’ is the other PT’s twelfth studio album and it’s a real cracker. The band have been consistent over the years, most recently with Your Wilderness (2016) and Magnolia (2014) but the latest offering edges both.
The over-riding theme of the album is dark, reflecting the breakdown of social fabric hastened by social media and a lack of real “connection”. Dark themes, then, for dark times.
The album opens unassumingly with ‘Not Naming Any Names’ but soon gets into a real groove with ‘Try As I Might’ – a real album highlight – and from there ‘Dissolution’ just keeps growing…and delighting.
‘Threatening War’ emphasises the band dynamic, shifting from broody verse to a more energising chorus.
‘Uncovering Your Tracks’, ‘All That You’ve Got’, and ‘Far Below’ demonstrate the band’s ability to fashion shorter, compelling tracks (the latter even released as a “single”) whilst the longest piece – ‘White Mist’ – holds the listener’s attention throughout.
Bruce Soord’s vocals are totally engaging and the musicianship as you would expect is stellar. Steve Kitch’s keyboard textures and, of course, Harrison’s drumming worth a special mention.
Really, this is progressive rock par excellence and one of the best in class for 2018. *****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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