REVIEW: Quiet The Thief – Beyond Wonderland (2015)

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Ebullience a-go-go on five tracker that proves hard rock ain’t ever gonna die

Face facts the rest of the world. You can make whatever music you like and there’s something inescapable: in the UK we do hard rock better than you do. It’s nothing personal, but you like to put a sheen on it or, God forbid, “mature”. We know that hard rock is meant to have dirt under its finger nails, it’s meant to swagger, meant to make you want to break stuff and, well, it’s meant to have a hint of Thin Lizzy about it too.

Quiet The Thief understand all these these things. Either that or on “Beyond Wonderland” they got extremely lucky, because over the course of the five tracks that make up “Beyond Wonderland” they deliver something approaching a masterclass in it.

Opener “Dark Place” has a kind of insistence. Namely, it grabs you by the throat and insists that you like it, and what follows “Corrosions (Of Ones Self)” might have the poshest title of the year, but it wraps itself around a groove that would shame The Cult while it is going about its business.

The band only formed in 2014, but two of them – Stig and Norbert – had been in a band that had just broken up, and for QTS they drafted in a mate who had been in a band with them as kids. This previous experience probably accounts for them being so tight for an outfit that is still relatively new, while the friendship more than likely accounts for the gang mentality exemplified on “Gasoline” and all its Phil Lynott-isms, you imagine at any rate, are intentional.

“Malice” is aptly named and those – like MV – that grew up with, and still adore, The Almighty will find much to enjoy in a track that wouldn’t have been out of place in the early work Ricky Warwick’s first love. Actually, never has the line “three blind mice see how they run,” been delivered with so much intent.

All of which leaves the best for last. “Slow Running Train” has been creating waves locally for a long time. It’s easy to see why. There’s nothing slow here. The opening line of “I’ve been drinking since half past ten” over a dirty riff tells you all you need to know. This is biker rock the way it was supposed to taste.

This is music that is the absolute antithesis of all that homogenised US quasi hard rock like Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry et al. This is for blokes in jeans that haven’t been washed since “Bomber” came out. Quiet The Thief make the noise of the sort of band that if they moved into the neighbourhood the council tax would go down.

The best of British to you.

Rating 9/10

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