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The Pineapple Thief - 12 Stories Down

The Pineapple Thief - 12 Stories DownThe latest Pineapple Thief album is generously packed with a bonus disc if you manage to get the special edition. The main album is a pleasurable near 70 minutes in length, and the bonus disc packs the punch with around the same time. After a great performance at ProgSfest in Chippenham (see review), Pineapple Thief are emerging as a well healthy name on the circuit and this new offering will not disappoint the punters.

Onto 12 Stories Down disc 1; the 12 songs are well produced and recorded clear, which is a bonus in this day and age, and with a handful of songs aired for the first time at ProgSfest, the album leaves a lasting impression. Opening with Prey For Me, the in-your-face start may catch you out by reaching for the volume control, thus not disturbing anyone below or above on the next stories! But the band maintain the mellow style we have come to expect from them. The songs are quite varied mixed with acoustic and electric guitars joining in at every opportunity and remind me of Radiohead and a touch of Muse, to make a comparison, but band leader Bruce Soord's writing really shines through. The heavier sounding Oblivion with the programmed drum sound, give this a modern feel, but highlight for me on the album is Slip Away. This is a gentle sounding track and being the longest at ten minutes on the first disc, grows on you with the Radiohead/Floyd influence. In fact, many of the tracks could be singles because of the feel and the style, and the way the charts seem to turn out these days, might be an idea to release one or two in the near future.

Moving on to Watch The World Turn Grey, the harmonies really shine, and being near acoustic gives the song a nice lift.  On the musician side of things, Bruce himself plays guitars and keys, Wayne Higgins guitars, Jon Sykes on bass, Matt O'Leary on keys and on drums Keith Harrison. Violins are played by Richard Hunt on four tracks, and helping out on backing vocals is Libby Bramley.

Start Your Descent is another gentle moving track, with the violin making a nice start, and along with the piano, acoustic guitar with Bruce's vocals, give it a enjoyable listen. Final track The Answers is the perfect way to end this first disc, a soft and slow song, ideal after a hard days work to wind down to.

Skipping to the next disc, just four tracks are on offer, but the opus 8 Days takes up nearly an hour. Split into eight parts, 8 Days is just what the title suggests, 8 days! Recorded in eight days from Sunday 8th August to Sunday 15th August 2004, the eight parts vary, sometimes instrumental, heavy and quiet sounding in places, it is a little different from 12 Stories. But it is a pleasant listen and the hour soon passes by, but none of the quality is taken away here at all.

The remaining three tracks are exclusive to this limited edition, and flow along in the same vein as the previous tracks, but I Will Light Up Your Eyes is a gem with the programmed drum sound.

So to sum up, this is another good album in the PT discography, and well worth a listen in my opinion, but hurry if you want to get the limited edition version.

Danny Mayo



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