This four-piece unit sways along a thin line, where alternative rock attains a fruitful coexistence with more progressive musical elements. Founded by guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Bruce Soord for his solo ventures, Pineapple Thief subsequently solidified its group-centric entity back in 2002. Fast-forwarding to this 2008 release, the musicians' methodology looms as a paradox of sorts. Think sophisticated pop, spiced with crunching alt-rock grooves and then toss in some strings and spacey overlays to complement Soord's endearing vocals.
On the title piece, the quartet homogenizes psychedelic guitar parts with a touch of Nirvana-style grunge rock. But Soord alters the overall tone with acoustic guitar voicings amid mellotron (or sampler) work as they generate drifting attributes to offset the hard-rock vibe. And in other regions of sound and scope, they pursue an ethereal gait via gravitating choruses and Soord's reflective vocalizations.
The band kindles a touch of early '70s Pink Floyd during the album's closer, "Too Much To Lose," where sweeping keys, and an ambient wall of sound segues into military-march progressions and driving rock pulses. It's a multi-part endeavor that highlights the musicians' depth, teeming with a near seamless fusion of old school ideas coupled with a modernist edge. Otherwise, Soord's largely melodic lyricism spawns a rather mature pop mindset. And after a few spins it all starts to make near perfect sense as the band's ruminations are shaded with a mark of authenticity.
Track Listing: My Debt To You; Shoot First; Sinners; The Sorry State; Tightly Wound; My Bleeding Hand; Different World; And So Say All Of You; Too Much To Lose.
Personnel: Bruce Soord: vocals, guitar, keyboards; Jon Sykes: bass; Keith Harrison: drums; Steve Kitch: keyboards.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.