The Pineapple Thief - 'All The Wars'

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The Pineapple Thief - 'All The Wars'

A stunning two for one if ever I heard it!

It has been a long, slow upward curve for The Pineapple Thief, from a band who used to have their name in the odd classified advert with unheard of albums for sale, into an act who are currently grabbing the attention of anyone who’ll listen, from prog fans, to bombastic rock revellers. However, if you take a journey through the years (something quite easy to do thanks to a thorough reissue campaign from Kscope) and listen to this band’s previous work, it becomes readily apparent that the one thing The Pineapple Thief have always achieved, is compelling, beautiful music, capable of kicking you up the jacksy.

‘Someone Here Is Missing’ catapulted The Pineapple Thief into more mainstream territory, but without compromising the vast, introspective, wide ranging view of styles, attacks and approaches at Bruce Soord’s - for it is he who steers the good ship TPT - disposal. ‘All The Wars’ not only keeps up that momentum, it shifts the band’s gear into overdrive. This is beautiful, moving, emotional progressive music that still packs a massive sideswipe of electronica, heart-tugging acoustic passages and choruses that will have you hooked from their first run-through. In your face, uncompromising, yet fragile, beautiful and intricate in structure ‘All The Wars’ is an album as likely to crush you with melancholy, as it is to trample you down through a ferocious guitar assault.

Slide into the shimmering, imagination capturing ‘One More Step Away’ to hear the sparse acoustic guitar battling with sumptuous strings, a thumping beat and Soord’s charismatic vocals, to understand the depth of emotions running through this album. Punch your way into ‘Build A World’ to discover a riff so catchy that you feel the need to convulse violently as it pulses through you. Or crane your neck back, extend your vocal chords and holler as ‘Give It Back’ requires, no demands you to sing along with every ounce of strength you possess, to a chorus that is a bleeding, screaming call to arms. Reference points zip past, with Porcupine Tree, Muse, Pure Reason Revolution or Radiohead blurring into and out of earshot. However if you, as suggested earlier, take a trip down The Pineapple Thief memory lane, you’ll discover these sounds are as much TPT’s as they are any of their peers. Soord hammers and caresses his guitar with equal fervour, while Jon Sykes demonstrates that bass guitar is not an instrument that has to hide in the backbone of the music. Add to that deft percussion from Keith Harrison and sumptuous and threatening keyboard blasts from Steve Kitch and ‘All The Wars’ becomes a real contender for prog album of the year, in a year where prog has continued to blossom beyond all expectations.

I also have to recommend that when you pick this album up - not if! - you invest in the limited bonus disc version with acoustic reinterpretations of the main album. It’s so good I’d happily have bought and listened to it as though it were the only disc on offer. A stunning two for one if ever I heard it!

Steven Reid

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