Your Wilderness Sees Band Bring Together Supergroup Of Artists
Leah Hamer || August 26th
After eleven studio albums, you might think that the studio may not be the creative hub that it once was and that many artists might be suffering from a bit of the old writers block. Not The Pineapple Thief, though.
After first appearing on the scene back in 1999, The Pineapple Thief are back with Your Wilderness, an eight track delight that has been lovingly crafted by not only the members themselves, but by several guest producers and contributors as well, including drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), John Helliwell (Supertramp) on the clarinet, Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan) and his string quartet, a four-piece choir, and guitarist Darran Charles (Godsticks).
It kicks off with lead single, In Exile, which begins with the roaring drums of guest performer Gavin Harrison, then the iconic vocals of frontman Bruce Soord slither their way into the mix, and you remember that this can only be The Pineapple Thief. With ghostly backing vocals, breathless gasps and low decibels, the track’s theme of estrangement is reflected in Soord’s tone and pitch alone. He whispers Don’t be afraid to miss me, against the psychedelic flares of the guitar colliding with the exceptional snare.
The tone is broken down in second track No Man’s Land, beginning with the careful plucking of an acoustic and a straining voice. Repetitive and simple with merely twinkles of piano at the start, two and a half minutes in, the percussion charges in hand in hand with the electrics, like an uncontrollable burst of pain and anguish. The music physically embodies the lyrics. Tear You Up faces you with yet another side of their style. A dark, thunderous opening, and a union of bass and piano harmonising against the rich guitar and drums, giving you some more drama.
Following is That Shore, a peaceful, meditative number suited for playing in a Japanese garden. Delicate piano and the light clicking of the drums, it induces you in a tranquil trance, as though you are floating in water and letting it slowly rock you back and forth. Again the style is flipped with Take Your Shot which begins with standard strumming which quickly turns into experimental twangs and riffs. Then suddenly the gloomy, dejected vocals are pulled from out of the hat, accompanied by soaring solos.
Fend For Yourself brings you misty vocals and a soft acoustic instrumental at the start. Then its gentle and morbid oohs follow the melody of a smooth clarinet, giving you a jazzier offering towards the end. After comes the ten minute whopper that is The Final Thing On Your Mind. Mountainous falling riffs, slurring vocals and an enormous collection of different sounds and textures, but ultimately it’s dense emotion could have been captured within a few minutes and the final minutes could have easily been shaved. It leads on to the final track, Where We Stood, which is the perfect closure. Calming and reflective of the other genres touched on throughout each other track, it closes the lid of the album softly.
An eclectic mix of influences, styles, sounds, textures and people- Your Wilderness sums up The Pineapple Thief’s last eleven studio albums and embodies the journey's of every member throughout their careers.