Pineapple Thief, The - 4 Stories Down

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCLS 150
Format: CD
Total Time: 21:26:00

After the necessary long wait between albums, it now looks like we'll be flooded by new Pineapple Thief releases. After I managed to buy a limited edition 2CD set of 12 Stories Down the band has now officially released 10 Stories Down, which also comes as a limited edition 2CD set combined with the extra album 8 Days Later. Due to a mistake at the pressing plant, promo copies of the new 10 Stories Down contained drum 'n' bass music. I almost cried when I heard the music, as I thought the band had left their mix of Radiohead meets Coldplay in order to deliver bland, danceable, computer oriented muck. I really felt relieved when I found out there had been a mistake in the pressing process. So whilst we're still waiting for our "proper" copy of 10 Stories Down, which the band says contains re-evaluated, revamped and refined versions of some of the songs from the previously released 12 Stories Down, adding a stunning set of new songs to turn 10 Stories Down into the best produced album by Pineapple Thief to date, we are treated to a 4-track EP that comes as a taster for the new album. The first two tracks are pulled from the new album, "The Ground Floor" is exclusive to this EP release, whilst their classic track "Subside" has been given the "13th floor mix" treatment, which in other words is more of an extended guitar mix. So this EP most certainly is a valuable addition to any PT (that's Pineapple Thief and not Porcupine Tree!) collector.

Opener "Clapham" puts a soft bossa nova like acoustic approach against a backdrop of mellotron to give it that nice contrast. As we have become acquainted to over the years, this song once again contains some strong vocal melodies. And I'm convinced that if this song were given the full commercial treatment, backed with huge promotion, that Pineapple Thief might well be snapped up by a major soon and step right in the footsteps of the aforementioned big shots. Maybe all depends on how well the new Coldplay album X&Y will do before other "soundalikes" will get a fair chance? "Wretched Soul" is based around a heavy guitar riff and some outrageous banging on the drums, putting the song in a similar league as the indie guitar oriented bands. Main difference here is that these guys play with heart and soul, something that can't be said for a large percentage of MTV-manufactured garbage. "The Ground Floor" is completely exclusive to this release and once again contains Bruce Soord's soft voice swimming through a very sparse arrangement before exploding into a world of loud strumming guitars and great sounding melodies. Again in a slightly edited version, this one could get daytime rotation straight away. This lovely EP closes with an extended guitar mix from the band's classic "Subside," which can be found in it's original form on the Variations On A Dream album, the band's previous output.

Sometimes it takes a long time before you hear something new from these guys and often you hope that the band still exists, that they haven't quit because of success not happening or band members leaving. With the current line-up they have enough talent available to last a lifetime and to keep believing in themselves, because one day that telephone call will happen and the doors to eternal recognition will widely open. Open as heavenly as the overwhelming strings during the outro for "Subside." From now on Pineapple Thief has to ring a bell in millions of households, has to appear both on Jools Holland's show as well as being invited by Jay Leno. Stunning in every single aspect of the word! I'm a fan. I'm a huge fan!

["Album of the week" on On The Rocks (radio show on each Sunday and Wednesday between 9 and 11 PM CET) between 5th and 12th of June - JB]

Clapham (4:29) / Wretched Soul (4:54) / The Ground Floor (4:58) / Subside (13th Floor Mix) (7:04)

Bruce Soord - guitars, vocals, keyboards
Wayne Higgins - guitars, backing vocals
Jon Sykes - bass, backing vocals
Matt O Leary - keyboards
Keith Harrison - drums, cymbals, backing vocals

Abducting The Unicorn (1999)
137 (2002)
Variations On A Dream (2003)
Variations On A Dream - Ltd. Edition (2003)
4 Stories Down (ep) (2005)
10 Stories Down (2005)

Live 2003 (2004) (DVD+CD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: June 14th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 774
Language: english


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