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Album Review: Thieves and Villains - South America

Two years on from their debut album ('Movement'), New York state-based Thieves and Villains' have moved away from their upbeat pop rock style the latter release showed. With 'South America', the four piece show a more mature, indie rock flavoured sound.

I'll admit now this is one of those records you have to live with, and let it grow on you. Opener '16 Hits' is your middle-of-the-road rock track with a decent structure and favourable guitars that drive the track home and complement Sergio Otaegui's vocals well.

The retrospective 'Song For Dean Moriarty' provides an all-round pleasing sound where the band do not outstretch themselves, but at the same time provide a sound that fits their persona well. Whilst 'Virginia Woolf' and 'I Want A Friend Like You' are ideal examples of indie pop-rock; the latter especially is a catchy, upbeat track that keeps its indie sentimentalises.

Throughout the band manage produce good, strong songs that seem to go along with easeness (see 'Drunk In Amsterdam' and 'Youth'). 'Island Waterfall Blues' is a charming, laid-back number that is somewhat refreshing, and once again, suits the bands overall style. The same could be said for 'Some May Call It Rain', with its slow, delicate pace and ballad-like vocal delivery.

Although there are a few stand out tracks here, the title track is one of them, with the bands tight musicianship being one of the major characteristics; thriving drums and guitars fit in well with Otaegui's ideal voice.

Whilst it may not be the best album, it could be much worse and the band can be proud of what they've done on 'South America'. The thirteen songs here shows a band who have found a new identiy, and are in their comfort zone. As a listener its not a record that is not to challenging or demanding. Instead you can simply take in each track at a time, and leave a good understanding of the band. As said earlier, the album goes along at a nice, acceptable pace with a favourable strucutre. Overall Thieves and Villains have made a good step in the right direction.


'South America' by Thieves and Villains is released on Victory Records on August 3rd.

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Sean Reid

Alter The Press!