Creative Review New Music
After a four-year hiatus, Thieves Like Us return with their fifth eponymously titled record. The Swedish/American band, named after a New Order song, tracked and produced the new record in late 2015.
The new self-titled record reinvents the band’s cosmic song based aesthetic with the introduction of live bass (Thomas Franklin) and drums (Tore Knipping), steering its songs into more spirited waters.
Guitarist Chris Wackrow and his Felt-like guitar overdubs delicately fill out the rhythmic spaces with many a subtle and sparkling riff. Backing singers Martine Duverglas, Mia Von Matt, and Monika Martinez substantiate Andy Grier’s frail and airy vocals elevating the music to a more adult modern rock sound similar to the complimentary vocals of Metronomy. The end result is an intricate, accessible pop record and a natural progression of the band’s previous record Bleed Bleed Bleed.
While the new album does feature upbeat light pop movers like Dani and E-Problems, Thieves Like Us also holds its share of melancholic, introspective and socio-political tunes (Jennifer, Broken Mirror, Israel). As always, the band cites economic peril, over-militarization and technology as some of the albums cheerier themes. And again — maybe the band possess just enough world perspective to unify us all in dancing to the bad news.
Thieves Like Us is based in Berlin, but comprised of musicians from all over the world. Starting out as DJs, the band soon evolved into a full band that blends electronic, rock, and pop music. Effortlessly they take from (italo) disco, glam, and punk to create their own distinctive sound that has garnered comparisons to numerous dance-pop acts of the early 2000s, such as Metronomy, Hot Chip and Crystal Castles. Originally discovered by French Kitsuné Records, the band also released their previous record Bleed Bleed Bleed on Captured Tracks in the US.
The new full-length album Thieves Like Us will be out in 2017 worldwide via Seayou Records/Rough Trade. The artwork depicts a re-enactment of Hans Conrad Schumann’s iconic jump from communist German Democratic Republic to freedom; by a black woman wearing the same pilot suit that singer Andy Grier’s father wore in Vietnam. We leave its interpretation to the listener.