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Guitarist/ vocalist and leader Bruce Soord has spoken in interview of a minority creating the toxic environment we have to live in; hence ‘It Leads to This’, but despite the dislocated dystopia forced upon us, his music still offers up hope. The album concentrates on very tightly structured, concise songs, resulting from a writing collaboration with drummer Gavin Harrison. ‘Now It’s Yours’ comes across as an apology to the younger generations for the mess they are being left, with lyrics about a heavy weight on their shoulders, lamenting that “I can’t believe we ran away to save ourselves.” On ‘All That’s Left’ there are cryptic references to the “end of this Earth” and “some other world, some other place in time”, and while ‘Put It Right’ sends out an important message it is not entirely clear what and how this will be achieved.

Musically “It Leads to This” is first class, no more so than on tracks like ‘Rubicon’ where Soord’s grungy guitar is unleashed as he intones, “your cold, dark heart marches on’. The metaphorical ‘The Frost’ is a very clever song, and the underlying anger and frustration erupts in lyrics like, “Hold me down before I do my worst.” At times I think that Pineapple Thief’s music is a bit like a box of chocolates with soft centres, then a crunching riff and attention-seeking synth break wakes me out of my reverie (‘Some Other Time’). There is a distinctly ‘hard centre’ to this music: at face value making pleasant listening for melodic prog lovers, but with a cutting edge, which with careful listening is revealed. Having bought Vulgar Unicorn’s “Under the Umbrella” when it came out – remember the Cyclops label? – haven’t Bruce Soord and his collaborators come a long way?

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