Album Review: Nothing But Thieves – Broken Machine

Nothing But Thieves burst onto the scene a couple of years with their debut self-titled album, which was very critically acclaimed not just around the rock world, but the music world in general. I loved the album, and even though it slipped into style over substance from time to time, it was a real statement proving the band’s talent and intent. British rock superstars Muse seemed to think the same, taking them on their globe-spanning Drones Tour. But what is the logical next step after success like that?

Well, as proven by their first album, Nothing But Thieves are anything but conventional, so of course they wouldn’t just capitalise on the first album’s success by using the same formula to placate all of their fans. No, instead they have created a brand new, diverse set of songs to push the boundaries of their music. But has it worked? Read on to find out!

The style of music in this album, therefore, may come as a surprise to a lot of fans. It is just as diverse as the first album, but musically, there is a lot more to get excited about. If you’re a fan, you’ll have already heard the rip-roaring ‘Amsterdam’, and the smooth tones of ‘Sorry’, but that is far from all they have to offer. To quote just a few songs, ‘Particles’ is stadium rock at its best, while ‘I’m Not Made By Design’ has an intensity rarely seen on their first album. ‘Soda’ has a beautifully harsh but ambient sound. That might seem like a lot of contradictory words, but believe me, you’ll understand when you hear it. And in a complete curveball for them, ‘Broken Machines’ contains a bit of political commentary in one of the best songs on the album.

If you don’t want to hear this band evolve and change, then feel free to go back and listen to their debut album over and over again, but if not, this album will be perfect for you. It is ambient, but raw, and a fantastic showing of how far this band has come in a short space of time. If they keep going like this, the next album will be a masterpiece.

Best songs: Amsterdam, I’m Not Made By Design, Broken Machines, Sorry

Score: 8/10

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