The four British lads of IV Thieves started out in Nottingham, England with singer, songwriter and guitarist Nic Armstrong teaming up with drummer Jonny Aitken, bassist Shane Lawlor, and guitarist Glynn Wedgewood. Their first album The Greatest White Liar was then releasead in 2004, the band then known as Nic Armstrong and The Thieves. They’ve since truncated it to IV Thieves to better represent the collaborative atmosphere of the band’s songwriting, recording, and live shows. Their `60s style rock transistors, modern melodic rock verses and Southern country/rock tones are finely tuned and posed on their second release If We Can’t Escape My Pretty.
Opening the album with “You Can’t Love What You Don’t Understand,” IV Thieves showcase tokens of sprightly bass grooves, briars of furrowed drum beats, and vocals that move up and down the music scale. Their melodies pontoon chorus line kicks in the rhythmic movements as on the tracks “Catastrophe” and “The Day Is A Downer.” “Catastrophe” emphasizes the nubs of the guitar notes as the vocals strut with a determined compulsion. The Southern country/rock guitar crinkles on “The Sound And The Fury” are cribbed in light piano doodles and smoking bass rings as the vocals stretch out across the melodic foiling.
“This Day Is A Downer” brings a ’60s style rock percussion with morosely toned guitar hooks pressing into the layers of instrumentation. The sequences are vibrant, such as in the woeful “Mother’s Dilemma.” The sprinkles of sharp guitar incisions impale the vocals as they cry out, “There’s nobody out there/ Nobody cares/ Nobody’s out there to offer her help.”
IV Thieves use a copious amount of vocal overdubs to fatten the lyrics, like on the infectious South Pacific-style chant in the intro to “All The Time” with a chorus of “Ooh a Ooh.” The music is filled with energy and inspiring lyrics, such as “Better to fight than to fear.” The track “Have Pity” has a fistful of intensity with impounding vocals and digging guitar riffs. The assortment of piano locks on tracks like “Lay Me Back Down” and “Chase Me Off/Out” offers a more harmonious component to their raw formula. “Chase Me Off/Out” additionally has a string arrangement which elevates the melody, then turns into a tangle of chaos as the instrumental lanes cross into each other on the outro.
IV Thieves’ album is a stirring broth of `60s style Britrock similar to Oasis, modern melodic rock shared by The Blue Van, and spiced with some Southern country/rock the likes of which rival Kings of Leon. If there’s a secret passage from the Mississippi to the Chunnel, this band has found it.
Stone Roses – Second Coming
Oasis – Don’t Believe The Truth
The Blue Van – The Art Of Rolling