The Pineapple Thief – “Your Wilderness” & “8 Years Later”

Your_Wilderness_cover.jpg“Your Wilderness” has been hyped as the return to prog for The Pineapple Thief. I don’t get that exactly since I thought the last album, “Magnolia,” was not only really good but also plenty prog enough. Some of the songs on “Your Wilderness” are perhaps a bit bigger sounding and yes they benefit from having Gavin Harrison on drums. Most songs would. This is not to take away from Dan Osborne, who is a fine drummer. But Harrison is better than pretty much anyone out there.

The songs on “Your Wilderness” are exactly what I’ve come to expect from Bruce Soord and the Pineapple Thief. They are melodic, rich and powerful. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mellow moment or a louder moment, Soord writes powerful music. “In Exile” kicks things off well, with a memorable hook. “No Man’s Land” builds slowly but I think it either takes too long to build or just doesn’t let the rocking last long enough! The last part of the song is so damn good and I want more of Godsticks guitarist Darren Charles’ killer solo!!

“Tear You Up” uses Harrison’s powerhouse drumming and kicks some serious ass. “That Shore” is that moody, atmospheric vibe that The Pineapple Thief do so well. Great work by Steve Kitch who, along with rock solid bassist Jon Sykes, often gets overlooked thanks to Soord’s large profile. “Take Your Shot” is my current favorite track. Once again, the two big guest stars Harrison and Charles step up and deliver. This song just rips! Harrison’s fills recall his work with Porcupine Tree.

Supertramp’s John Helliwell guests on clarinet on “Fend For Yourself” which adds some added class to a nice track. The epic “The Final Thing on My Mind” is the big prog track, while “Where We Stood” serves as the perfect unwinding ending to yet another great album by The Pineapple Thief. Initially, I wasn’t overly impressed but I think I was expecting it to sound somehow completely different than the band have before. That’s just not the case and now that I’ve come to terms with that, I can really enjoy the subtle complexities of “Your Wilderness.”

The extra disc “8 Years Later” is the follow up to the “8 Days” and “8 Days Later” releases that came with “Variations of a Dream” and (for me) “12 Stories Down” respectively. Most people found “8 Days Later” coupled with “10 Stories Down,” which was the “official” release of that album. While “8 Years Later” has somewhat the same spirit of those other releases which were recorded in an 8 day span, it doesn’t quite measure up to those two, for me.

There are a few things that undermine “8 Years Later.” The songs themselves are okay, but between too many bird sounds, truck beeping noises and (worst of all) a beat sound on a few tracks that is usually on a rap album…it just doesn’t work for me. I really hate that fucking sound. So the problem is more the execution than the songs themselves.

While “Your Wilderness” isn’t what I would say is my favorite album by The Pineapple Thief, with time it could rank up there. There’s a lot of depth and character to this album. “8 Years Later” is a bit of a misfire but as more of a bonus disc, it’s not something I hold against the band at all. “Your Wilderness” is just another great album by a great band.

Rating: “Your Wilderness” 9/10, “8 Years Later” 6/10

Tracklist:
1. In Exile
2. No Man’s Land
3. Tear You Up
4. That Shore
5. Take Your Shot
6. Fend For Yourself
7. The Final Thing On My Mind
8. Where We Stood
Bonus Disc: “8 Years Later”

Label: Kscope
Website: pineapplethief.com

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About progmanrob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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7 Responses to The Pineapple Thief – “Your Wilderness” & “8 Years Later”

  1. progbeawr831 says:

    I honestly had a bit of a hard time getting in to Magnolia compared to their earlier albums which I found to be more proggier which is probably why I was waiting for someone like yourself to review the new album before I ventured in to getting it. I haven’t heard Bruce Soord’s solo album yet either and I do know that he said it’s a far cry from what TPT does so I will have to get around to both of those albums eventually. Cheers for reviewing this for us !

    Liked by 1 person

    • progmanrob says:

      Many people thought Magnolia wasn’t that proggy. I thought it was. Regardless, I love everything Lord Soord does. Wisdom of Crowds is another one I recommend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • progbeawr831 says:

        He is a very talented guy as is the rest of the band but sometimes when bands go a little to the left in their style it throws me off for a while and then I will go back to the album a while later and see if I still feel the same about it. Thanks for the suggestion! Will check that out too! Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    That the thing about TPT and Bruce Soord, the music grows on you. It is very hard to have correct first impression with this band, it will change over time, and probably end up near the top of your list. I don’t have wilderness yet, I just ordered it, but I did get Bruce Soord solo album, and it has grown on me quite a it, but it is short, too short.

    Like

  3. C. G. says:

    Thanks for the informative review!

    I gave the new album a listen, and I kinda like, but I want to spend more time with it when I’m in the right mood. I immediately noticed this will be a “mood” or “winter” album for me. I basically have one issue keeping me from just really liking this album based on my first listen: I kept finding myself thinking they sound a bit too much like Porcupine Tree. To be clear, it wasn’t Gavin’s drumming even though one can nearly always tell he is on the drums. It was the overall style and performance of the music. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not original either. Granted this is based on a single listen, and I may change my mind with more listens.

    I’ve been into PT for many years now, and I have to keep in mind that they are my main modern prog reference. That has to influence how I judge and hear modern prog music, so when I listen again, I will do my best to be mindful of that, and look for the differences rather than the similarities. I honestly don’t know who came first between the two bands. For all I know TPT came first!

    I also listened to nearly all of Magnolia and didn’t like it. I felt this album sounded too much like Coldplay whom I can’t stand with passion. There were a few times they let the distorted guitars rip, which I liked, but there wasn’t enough of that in my opinion. I agree that Magnolia is still prog though…a proggy Coldplay? Oomph!

    I have not had the opportunity to listen to their other albums yet, but based on the latest album, I will definitely do so, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m also trying to get through The Devin Townsend Project catalogue, but that is topic for another post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • progmanrob says:

      I would never compare them to Coldplay but I do get your point. I think Coldplay COULD have been interesting but chose the dumbed down path. This album like many needs many listens. It didn’t hit me until at least the third or fourth listen and I had to “set aside” that it was Gavin Harrison on drums.

      Like

      • C. G. says:

        Interesting. I couldn’t get away from the Coldplay comparison. There were a couple songs where it seemed the vocals were straight out of a Coldplay song but with better execution and tone. It’s funny how we all can hear different things. I’ll just avoid Magnolia is all. All the bands I like have at least one album I don’t like. In my opinion, dumbed down is the only path Coldplay can handle. I can’t stand those guys. I definitely plan on listening to the latest album more. I may amend what I’ve said here after doing so.

        Liked by 1 person

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