I must confess right from the outset, I have never really been a fan of the progressive rock genre. (Although I have never had any grounds to criticize the style as there is absolutely nothing wrong with this branch of the ever-expanding sub-genres of rock.) So, my inexperience with this style has given me the opportunity to approach this review with a completely open mind, not basing my thoughts on comparisons with other bands that fall under the “Prog” umbrella.
So, down to business; The Pineapple Thief’s latest release, Versions of the Truth, is a great introduction to this genre with which I have had little to no interaction. Opening with the title track, “Versions of the Truth,” the tune builds an echoing twang of a guitar creating a hypnotizing sensation that grips you and holds you tight as vocalist Bruce Soord chimes in with his equally captivating voice whilst the tempo of the backing instruments builds up only to abruptly cease and move into a deep drum and bass lead section all with Soord’s lyrics haunting each note. (Mental, right?) Shortly before the 2-minute mark, that track pulls all the separate elements together into an incredibly enchanting piece of music. There are so many other layers created throughout this tune that if I continued, this review would become a tiresome article to read through, so let’s move on!
“Demons” starts with a build-up of a fast guitar strum that is quickly accompanied by a slower one, then a deep bassline. As the chorus kicks in, my head starts to nod, and I am instantly consumed by the music, part of which has an element of what sounds like a sitar that really adds to the song’s variety, and indeed, the album as a whole.
The psychedelic nature of Prog means that each track, although maintaining its own identity, has so many sections to them, it is hard to compress a synopsis of a song into a few lines (as highlighted above). So, rather then seek to dissect other tunes on this record given the complexity of the songs, here are the other stand out cuts I urge you to check out if, like me, you are on the fence about Prog; “To Many Voices,” “Our Mire,” “Stop Making Sense,” and “The Game.”
Although I have never found myself drawn to Prog, I am delighted to have been passed this record to cover. The songs are varied and captivating, and the lyrics are thought-provoking, which are the things that really resonate with me when I listen to music. This style that was born in the ‘60s may very well have received a new fan as a result of this record.
The Pineapple Thief has never gained the same level of attention as some of their peers, but I urge you, give Versions of the Truth a chance; you may well have a whole new world of music open up to you just like it has for me. Give Prog a chance!
Versions of the Truth Track Listing:
1. Versions of the Truth
2. Break it All
4. Driving Like Maniacs
5. Leave Me Be
6. Too Many Voices
7. Our Mire
8. Out of Line
9. Stop Making Sense
10. The Game
Run Time: 45:11
Release Date: September 4, 2020
Record Label: Kscope Records