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Thieves
Divider
(self-released)
www.thieves.bandcamp.com


"Out of the woodwork" is a common phrase thrown out when something unexpected suddenly appears from an unnatural place. Well the residents of Johnson County, Kansas [otherwise known to the rest of the U.S. as Kansas City] recently had a new band come out of their suburban woodwork. The band goes by the name of Thieves and you can safely assume upon first listen that your mind will be blown.

[The band is] brand-spanking new on the scene, as about 6-7 months ago they had but one song on their MySpace. It was just before the holiday season when the guys finally got enough material together for an EP. And thus Divider was released, with a teaser song "Swan Song" having previously been released to the public. Naturally, a following gathered. The silent but deadly electronic beats start everything off, getting that head bobbing just a little. After a bit there's a hint of guitar plucking away, next to a few vocal breaths. It feels as though this single (and the opening track) is an inkling of a story. But whatever it is, it successfully sets the artistic journey that these four gentlemen are going to take you on.

The following number is a personal favorite. "In House. In Host" starts off in such a way that for some reason keeps bringing back an image of the opening sequence in Miami Vice. It's probably the combination of some drum beats that seem to mimic finger snaps and a procession of light guitar notes, all set with some nearly haunting lyrical "ooo's." When the song finally shows its strength is when those previously soft beats turn strong and pronounced. The lyrics speaking of "devil" naturally come second string to the incredibly intense and powerful music that billows out.

With the song "While You Were Sleeping" the music takes a slightly different direction. The emotions seem stronger in this number and come out nicely through the soft piano and enchanting vocals. For the first time the listener is really wanting to hear and understand the words. Thus this song is really meant to be completely experienced, however you might choose.

Skipping down to the final selection, otherwise known as: "E. 130." There are about two places where I see this song fitting perfectly: a disco-tech in Europe or some very stylish fashion show. The tempo is undeniably dance worthy, but it's the mixture of a variety of synth and electronic effects on top of the precise vocals who every once in awhile go to almost moans that take this song to the next level.

The anticipation over the EP release was as high as some major label albums I've wanted. But for 2009 this was one of the few that lived up to that anticipation and in fact blew right on past it.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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Mike Doughty



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