The Pineapple Thief- Tightly Unwound (K-Scope)
review by Jim Clark

Track Listing

1. My Debt to You
2. Shoot First
3. Sinners
4. The Sorry State
5. Tightly Wound
6. My Bleeding Hand
7. Different World
8. And So Say All of You
9. Too Much to Lose



In 2007, Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord wrote two album's worth of material. The later songs were actually released first, in the form of What We Have Sown, Pineapple Thief's final Cyclops label release.

Since then, the band has moved on to Snapper's K-Scope label. And the earlier material that Soord composed has become Tightly Unwound, the Pineapple Thief's eighth studio release.

Stylistically, Tightly Unwound reminds me of a cross between the band's 10 Stories Down from 2005 and last year's What We Have Sown. One difference, though, is that electric guitar is much more prominent here. While always a Pineapple Thief staple, Soord's playing really cooks on Tightly Unwound, “My Bleeding Hand” particularly standing out (and having quite a fitting title!)

Soord's vocals also come to the front. In an unusual move for a Pineapple Thief release, the album actually kicks off with only vocals to begin “My Debt To You.” Soord has now firmly found his own voice, sounding light years removed from early Pineapple Thief recordings where he sounded quite uncannily like Billy Corgan.

While the early part of the disc is solid, Tightly Unwound really gets going for me on track four, “The Sorry State.” Some heavy drumming, creepy effects and Soord's equally scary vocals dominate, as does some heavy guitar playing. Gentle vocals and acoustic guitar act as a nice counterpoint to the heavier parts. A very nice string part (another Pineapple Thief staple) closes out the song.

Tightly Unwound also boasts two excellent epics - the nearly 11-minute “Different World” and the 15-minute “Too Much To Lose.” “Different World” includes some great guitar playing as well as some great vocals and strings. “Too Much To Lose” sees Soord give an instrumental nod to “God Bless The Child” from the band's Little Man release. Really heavy drumming and a very bizarre spoken word part highlight the song. Probably my second favorite of Pineapple Thief's long songs, behind Variations On A Dream's “Remember Us.”

And despite having these two 10-plus minute tracks, I find Tightly Unwound to be some of the most refined songs that Soord has composed. While I found some of his previously efforts to be somewhat repetitive at times, he says what he needs and nothing more here-a sign of a maturing songwriter. Some of the tracks even cut out earlier than expected.

So while Tightly Unwound doesn't rate as my favorite Pineapple Thief CD (Variations On A Dream and 137 take that honor), it is definitely a very good disc, and an excellent way to make a label debut. Hopefully, this takes this talented band to the next level of recognition, something they very much deserve.

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