The Pineapple Thief is about to unleash their 12thalbum called Dissolution. Always classed as prog, in my mind this band is one of the few of that ilk that actually fulfils the definition of progressive. They do not just pump out 20-minute songs and call it a concept album. Sure, there are concepts in the Thief’s music and the themes this time are certainly close to my hear as founder Bruce Soord explains on their site, “the title reflects the disintegration of relationships and the undoing of our social fabric. We’re living in a time when supposedly we are more connected than ever before, but personally, I am at my happiest when I unplug that connection.”
It all opens with ‘Not Naming Any Names’ which is a slow piano piece which starts to build the atmosphere and is followed by ‘Try As I Might’ which is superbly crafted piece of rock, with all of the band playing their respective instruments with a subtle touches: the drums (Gavin Harrison) and bass (Jon Sykes) in particular are so cleverly wound through the music in ways you wouldn’t expect. The guitar, especially in the solo, sounds just great. This approach is constant across the nine tracks: ‘Uncovering Your Tracks’ demonstrates this again, with its complex soundscape behind the lyrics and Steve Kitch using the keyboards so effectively to paint the pictures before Soord burns it all down with a remarkable guitar solo. ‘Pillar of Salt’ at less than 2 minutes is an acoustic breathing space before the 11 minute plus masterpiece that is ‘White Mist’ bursts forth. This showcases what is good about The Pineapple Thief: musicianship, structure, imagination and great solos…’nuff said!
The whole album is remarkably cohesive, despite being recorded in numerous studios around the UK and I assume in isolation. This is not apparent when you listen to it, however, this is a remarkable piece of work from the band and will stand head and shoulders above most prog this year – or any other year for that matter. It grows, it rewards and reveals more with each listen. Do not write it off as ‘just prog’, this is as classy a piece of rock as you are likely to find out there, regardless of the pigeonhole it is shoehorned into.
It’s being released on CD, vinyl, Blu-ray and as a deluxe 4-disc edition with an extra CD of bonus material.