Converting an old church sanctuary into a practice room, members of Nashville-based Vinyl Thief began making music in 2012, adopting electronic rock as their outlet of choice. After putting out an EP last March, they saw success with the single “Middle Of The Night,” an early summer hit on indie radio, and followed it with a series of shows and festival performances that left many ecstatic. Now that they have released Fathoms, their first full-length effort, it is easy to see why.
Fathoms follows suit with their early single as a synth rock record flooded with feeling, but also taking on a slew of different sounds, resulting in a beautiful mix of emotion and drive that paints beautiful images with its lush and carefully textured instrumentation.
There’s a bit of everything to be enjoyed for those of this particular musical persuasion, dug up from different shelves of the band’s record collection. Songs throughout the record differ in style and rhythm, but they are all tied together by background synthesizers and a vocal style in the vein of acts like Muse and Keane. Soulful pianos blend in with their electronic counterparts on the tracks “Stop Motion” and “All Right,” an almost new wave feel accompanies the new synthpop-oriented “Smooth,” even a hip-hop beat plays along with the track “Rebel Hill.” Highlights of the album are the opening title-track, “Smooth,” and the mid-album single “Middle Of The Night.” There’s not much at the end of this array of elements to significantly change the record’s energy or vibe, but just enough to keep it fresh and varied.
Beautiful and exciting music was made in an abandoned church, as wistful and delicate as any synthpop album should be, and as driven and inspired as the best of today’s rock. If their growing following means anything, Vinyl Thief will be stealing shows this fall, giving contrasting music fans something to agree on.
In A Word: Gold