A contender for electronic album of the year.
Lou Thomas 2009-05-20
As might be expected from a trio who collectively name themselves after a New Order song Thieves Like Us are keen to blend lyrically themes of love and alienation with pulsing synths and banging beats.
A certain melancholy is evident straight away on Play Music when American vocalist Andy Grier repeats, 'The light you give out'', with fierce intent like a post acid-house Ian Curtis amid bubbles of Kraftwerk synth supplied by Swede Bjorn Berglund.
Drugs In My Body is a different beast. An exciting, more minimal take on the French house made by producers like Alan Braxe, and a terrific slab of 2009 disco.
Fass is even better, as would be expected from a tune that steals much of its melody and construction from Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough and, yes, New Order's Blue Monday. At least it has a nicely poetic line in despair with lines like, ''This slack parade of days/This empty city space/I'm left paralysed''.
From here on this debut album is of a high quality even if nothing really hits the heights of its brilliant opening trio.
Lady is an epic, ominous whirl of sparse beats and synth doom that sounds like John Carpenter scoring Saturday Night Fever.
Your Heart Feels is full of distorted M83 waves of sound and obsessive love demands' ''See me after dark/show me all you scars/show me all your thoughts'', while Miss You is a smart mix of glam and dark, like Steve mason in his Black Affair guise collaborating with Miss Kittin.
Thieves Like Us deserve credit for making such a consistently exciting album that's arguably already a contender for electronic album of the year.