Dissolution

The Pineapple Thief

Kscope, 2018

http://www.pineapplethief.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/12/2018

I’m not sure if the Pineapple Thief have received enough exposure outside of prog-rock circles, but based on Dissolution, it is high time more people heard of them.

Maybe it’s the experience of making 11 albums, or maybe it’s the involvement of Gavin Harrison (one of the current drummers for King Crimson who also has worked with Porcupine Tree), but Dissolution is a triumphant album, a somber, dramatic, and powerful piece of neo-prog with none of the trappings associated with the genre.

Through nine songs and 43 minutes, Bruce Soord (singer/guitarist) weaves together a dark meditation on social media and prevalent technology, covering how phenomenon that purportedly brings us all together can actually drive us apart and in how being “connected” is far from actually being nbtc__dv_250 connected to other people. There’s an indie rock spirit through the disc that is couched in a hard rock sound, one that may draw some expected comparisons to Porcupine Tree but is not afraid to bring a little more drama and gravity.

There are so many good songs that it’s tough to recommend just one; the harmony vocals and driving rhythms of “Far Below,” the magnetic pull and roiling guitar work of “Try As I Might,” and the catchy “All That You’ve Got” are all very good. However, the best song bar none is “Threatening War,” which musically follows through on its title with a meditative acoustic opening that blossoms into a destructive ascending riff after about a minute, where the guitars and vocals dramatically come together. This is repeated three times with an extended instrumental break in the middle, and it could well be the best song this band has recorded.

A short acoustic piece called “Pillar Of Salt” leads into the 11-minute climactic “White Mist,” which offers some excellent playing (especially Soord’s solo around the seven minute mark) and the same claustrophobic atmosphere as the rest of the disc. If it doesn’t offer a lot of new ideas in the first part of the song, the second half makes up for it with the band firing on all cylinders. Harrison called it “three songs in one” in a recent interview, and any prog fan knows that this doesn’t necessarily mean all three songs are equally as good. But the ambition is admirable.

Soord has typically handled the songwriting for the band but Harrison is credited on several of the songs here and seems to have invigorated this band. Dissolution is a contender for the band’s best album and is a remarkable piece of work.

Rating: B+

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