by Rick Krueger
Today is — well, sort of — the official release day for The Pineapple Thief’s Where We Stood concert video. Turns out that, while vinyl and downloadable/streaming audio versions are now available, the Blu Ray, DVD and CD versions have been delayed until early October. Kudos go to the fine folks at Burning Shed for sending along mp3s of the full concert to folks who pre-ordered in those formats!
After just one listen, I’m mightily impressed. Back in my eMusic subscriber days, I ran across the Thief via the albums Tightly Unwound and Someone Here Is Missing, enjoying them thoroughly. A decade ago, high quality new prog was still scarce enough that I absolutely delighted in hearing Bruce Soord and company plowing similar furrows to Steven Wilson in Porcupine Tree. Unfortunately, the follow-ups All the Wars and Magnolia were, as our head Progarchist put it last year, good but bland. Thankfully, 2016’s Your Wilderness was a major step back up, as Gavin Harrison’s stylish, tasty drumming slotted in with Soord’s sleek new tunes and moody guitar lines to hypnotic effect.
So Where We Stood is the right move at the right time, capturing the re-energized Pineapple Thief onstage in London, with an enthusiastic crowd egging them on. Harrison is astonishing and impeccable as always, driving the band with relentless grooves and jaw-dropping fills, locking tight with Jon Sykes’ powerful bass lines. While Steve Kitch’s keyboards conjure impressive atmosphere, Darran Charles and Soord seamlessly slide from badass surf music riffs to full-on metal chording, inspiring Soord to new heights of vocal power and expression. This Thief rocks hard, with guts and class, in the service of first-rate songs from throughout their checkered career.
I’m optimistic that the visuals of Where We Stood will match the excellence of the music; in my opinion, the chance to see Gavin Harrison weaving his percussive magic in close-up is gonna be worth the wait all by itself. Plus the Blu-Ray also includes Your Wilderness, 8 Years Later and bonus acoustic tracks in 24/96 stereo and surround. If you haven’t ordered this baby yet, what are you waiting for?