Written by Carmen Meuller
British rock band, Nothing But Thieves, have been keeping themselves busy with the release of their newest EP What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way only a year after putting out their sophomore album Broken Machine. Many fans of the band, including myself, have been highly anticipating this project ever since the band teased it during the middle of their summer tour. And now that the whole EP has been released, I couldn’t be more excited to check it out.
The first song on the project “Forever & Ever More” was the only single off of the EP that they released ahead of time and it already got the ball rolling so damn fast. “Forever & Ever More” The track is filled with lead singer Conor Mason’s insane falsettos and distinct soulfulness which has always given the band major brownie points. The title of the EP “What did you think when you made me this way” is chanted throughout the song which hones in on the desperation of a risky love. It’s fast and almost chaotic with the huge drum and guitar breakdown that is super trippy and exciting. And if you have seen the music video for it, the trippiness and excitement only grows from there on out.
But this feeling slows down a bit with the next track “Gods”, which opens with a simple acoustic guitar and a backing track. While it may give off the impression of being a religious song, it really is a social commentary about celebrity culture and how people glorify these people as if they were gods. Mason howls over the heavy guitars and struggles with the fact that he doesn’t believe he can live up to that kind of holy-expectation. Also, if you listen closely enough, you can hear Mason hiss “Satan” at the end of the track; it freaked my friend out a bit, but that pretty much summed up what that song has to say. There is a darkness that comes from placing other people on such a high pedestal and worshiping them in a way that’s out of touch with reality.
“You Know Me Too Well” is possibly the riskiest song on the project in terms of the style of the track. The choppy guitar beats and the falsetto is to be expected from the band; however the more interesting bits are later in the track when it comes to the bridge. One of the most brooding bridges with its deep bass and crashing guitars. Mason sings about trying to hold on to a love that won’t go anywhere further than lust and how it can be both discouraging yet addicting.
Closing out the project is the track “Take This Lonely Heart”, which goes from a slower sweet song into a booming battle cry. The acoustic guitar plays along as Mason reflects on how he has grown throughout the years, how he has to essentially grow up and face the real world. The beat starts to pick up as it’s driven by the heavy guitars and Mason’s more intense performance when he speaks of the hard decisions he had to make in order to be a better person. “Take this lonely heart”, because I don’t need a reminder of the person I used to be.
As I expected, this EP lived up to the high expectations I have for Nothing But Thieves. Their unique sound, along with Mason’s shows-stopping voice, and their elevated lyrics make for a fantastic piece of work. I suggest everyone go listen to this EP! And once you have done that, head over to their YouTube because they have videos coming up for some of these songs!