No Motive

Written by: PP on 07/06/2017 23:40:35

Texas punk rock/post-hardcore band Thieves have undergone quite the transformation since their breakneck speed "Achiever" back in 2012. Two years later you couldn't have mistaken them to be the same band on the Balance & Composure inspired, aptly titled "Colorchange" EP, and on their third full-length "No Motive", the band have changed yet again, this time integrating mid-2000s emotionally charged alternative/pop punk into the mix. They now essentially sound like Armor For Sleep meets Balance & Composure with a few hints of The Wonder Years for added flavor. Perhaps this is why "Achiever" and material before it is no longer available on their Bandcamp page because it's so different?

Unfortunately, the high-energy approach of "Achiever" was what made them brilliant. The Balance & Composure worship on "Colorchange" EP was also pretty good. The added emotional charge on "No Motive"? Not so much. There's little to distinguish the band from a gray mass of bands in a genre that has reached full saturation a couple of years ago. Most songs fly by with angst-laden, whiny vocals that would make Soupy proud, with theatrical guitars and glossy production that doesn't leave much of an impression behind. You can't fault the band for trying: there are some real attempts at depth-laden melodies and texture - "Decoder" being one of them - but the chorus sounds flat and too much like other bands. It's hard not to be disappointed after a string of solid releases that were criminally underrated in this scribe's opinion.

Later on the record, the band explores their punk background on "What Might Be". Here, a faster tempo and a scratchier vocal style help a little, but it sounds too anonymous overall to truly matter. And that's the big problem with "No Motive": it just doesn't stick as a record - even after a multitude of repeated listens. Worse, many songs recall Armor For Sleep so closely that it's difficult not to remember what an awesome band they were on especially "What To Do When You Are Dead" and my personal favorite, "Smile For Them". In comparison, "No Motive" sounds flat and forgettable.

Download: Fade, 5748, Decoder
For the fans of: Armor For Sleep, Balance & Composure
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.11.2016
Revival Recordings

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