Album Review

The Pineapple Thief – Versions Of The Truth: Album Review

The Pineapple Thief conjure up a magical album that considers the blurring between the real and the perceived. Versions Of The Truth is their soundtrack for a post-truth world.

Release Date: 4th September 2020

Label: Kscope

Formats: DL / CD / Vinyl / deluxe set

The final part of a what might class as a trilogy where Your Wilderness and Dissolution have set up the brooding grand finale that is Versions Of The Truth. A crowning achievement of dark, bouncy and emotional set of songs. At times the deeply personal sentiments provide an intense hit although never overwhelmed by arrangements that are deft and subtle enough not to swamp the mood.

Over these three albums, Bruce Soord, Gavin Harrison, Jon Sykes and Steve Kitch have become an impressively formidable unit. Not showy or indulgent but a unit that clicks into a gear where they emerge as greater than the sum of the parts.

Versions Of The Truth goes under the microscope in examining broken friendships and relationships, the trials and tribulations of modern life, missed opportunities and chances. All play their role and fuel the lyrical bite.

The title track provides a stark introduction until Soord works up his “It’s not how I remember it” lyric and the quartet crank into a typically Pineapple Thief driving groove. The no-frills deliberate riffing rock of Break It All is what Led Zep could have sounded like. A thumping riff and restrained slide although Bonham couldn’t have matched Gavin Harrison’s subtle touches. This crafting of arrangements see the band hitting grooves, updating the ’75 version of Floyd – “it was only supposed to be a short term thing” shouts Demons – where the understanding of when not to play and when to hold back shows both progression and empathy.

Anyone desperate to hang onto any progressive coattails will head for seven minutes of The Mire. However, they’re more likely to butt heads against a riff not a million miles from early Simple Minds, a busy rhythm section and a restrained power chord chorus.

The easy cool calm encountered on Too Many Voices isn’t a one-off; the thoughtful and pondering atmosphere that dominates the current Pineapple Thief is held in check until closing track The Game. A track that seethes with barely suppressed anger. “You’re taking us all for fools/You’re selling us down the river,” sings Soord over a whose slow-building tension hides a palpable fury.

After twenty years in the game, we have a band leaving behind the need to live up to their progressive labelling by kowtowing to preconceived ideas of progression. They can do the job of inventive and thrilling rock music (call it progressive if you want) in four, five or six-minute bursts. They seem to be becoming the masters of the less is more approach.

Everybody has had enough, people are thinking, ‘What is going on, what has happened to the world?’’ says Soord. We may exist in a world confronted, possibly overwhelmed with a zeitgeist founded on deception and confusion. The Pineapple Thief have used found an unusual and unexpected inspiration to hit an understated creative peak with Versions Of The Truth

Listen to Demons here:

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