"3000 Days" (K-Scope; 2009)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I’m not quite sure that I truly understand the term “post-rock” any better now than I did more than a year ago when I wrote my review for The Pineapple Thief’s “Tightly Unwound.” I guess I’m just more comfortable with the term “progressive” no matter the shape or form it takes. So … whether you call The Pineapple Thief post-rock or progressive it doesn’t matter – it just matters that the listener appreciates the full scope of The Pineapple Thief’s work.

The title of this retrospective, “3000 Days,” symbolizes the nearly ten years that Bruce Soord has spent his days as a musician under the guise as The Pineapple Thief since his departure from the Vulgar Unicorns. The songs selected for “3000 Days” cover the time from 1999 to 2008 – not quite a proper decade per se, but a solid ten years nonetheless.

The songs are not in chronological order – and that’s fine by me as it’s not necessary to hear a band evolve over time. Mixing the years up give any retrospective a more traditional album-like feel. Specifically, “Part Zero” is dramatic and truly represents what progressive rock should sound like if wider acceptance is goal of the genre. The epic “Remember Us” is a pastiche of four songs joined by an infectious chorus. “Wretched Soul” is quite the heavy track with blustery sections that break the mold The Pineapple Thief typically use. The earliest track, the epic “Private Paradise,” stretches out like a Pink Floyd song with steady, strong influences from modern musical acts.

What I like about retrospectives like “3000 Days” is that it provides a healthy dose of perspective without having to listen to a band’s entire catalog. For example, the vocals on the older tracks often sound like Sigur Ros to the extent that they sounds more like melodic meanderings evoking emotions rather than specific words for the sake of precision (“Vapor Trails” being a good example of this). Bruce Soord is understated as a vocalist, but he melancholic approach fits the themes of his lyrics.

Generally, “3000 Days” is perfect primer for the casual fan of progressive rock to get to know The Pineapple Thief a little better. Specifically, “3000 Days” is a good addition to the ol’ CD collection if you are a fan of Porcupine Tree and other newer/classic progressive rock giants.

“3000 Days” was compiled by Bruce Soord.

The Pineapple Thief is Bruce Soord on vocals, guitar, and programming, Jon Sykes on bass and backing vocals, Steve Kitch on keyboards, and Keith Harrison on drums. Performers on early tracks include Wayne Higgins on guitars and backing vocals and Matt O’Leary on keyboards.

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"Tightly Unwound" (K-Scope; 2008)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The "post-rock" genre is getting bigger by the minute. Rooted in progressive rock, post-rock is more than just stereotypical prog sounds and structures. Post-rock blends just about any conceivable sound and style into the mix for what usually ends up being a satisfying end product. The Pineapple Thief is the latest post-rock outfit to get some of my spare time. And, with a few spins of “Tightly Wound,” the band’s latest effort, you can add The Pineapple Thief to the list of bands you should listen to now.

The Pineapple Thief is the brainchild of ex-Vulgar Unicorn guitarist Bruce Soord. Originally a solo project in name and execution, The Pineapple Thief has evolved into a full-fledged band. Soord is a veteran of the music scene and his expert songwriting and performances has taken The Pineapple Thief to greater heights with each new album.

The Pineapple Thief sounds a lot like Porcupine Tree although The Pineapple Thief only (and barely) dip their collective toes in the uber-heaviness that PT learned quite well from Opeth. Lots of Pink Floyd moodiness via acoustic guitars and sensitive vocals is present as well as the sound of chiming guitars made famous by The Edge. Soord’s vocals shape-shift via natural skills and electronic treatments to provide additional shades of color to the already dynamic musical canvas.

The album has an understated start with the quite “My Debt to You” but immediately picks up with “Shoot First.” The album travels through varying moods and sequences in the grand prog-rock tradition while never sounding like a prog-rock disc. The disc ends with the epic “Too Much Too Lose” with near perfect pacing and a variety of sections.

The beauty of the post-rock sound is that it is genuinely new without being too out-of-the-ordinary. And to have another band that plows the same sonic tapestry that Porcupine Tree weaves so well is OK in my book.

“Tightly Unwound” was produced by The Pineapple Thief and mixed by Soord and Steve Kitsch.

The Pineapple Thief is Bruce Soord on vocals and guitar, Jon Sykes on bass, Keith Harrison on drums, and Steve Kitsch on keyboards.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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