Thieves Like Us Should Steal Some Creativity

Aptly titled Again and Again is overly repetitious 

Thieves Like Us

Again and Again

Released on Jul 07, 2010


There are many instances when repetition is a good thing. One of my illustrious former bosses always said “repetition equals reputation,” meaning if you consistently do a good job for the customer that becomes what you are known for. A trainer I used to work with at the gym always wanted me to do more repetitions. He said they were good for me though my muscles didn’t always agree.  

Unfortunately for the band Thieves Like Us, repetition is not always a good thing, especially when it replaces any sort of actual hook in many of the songs on their new, and aptly titled, release “Again and Again.” A number of the songs offer the listener no memorable hook opting instead to simply repeat a lyric, often the title of the song, over and over again. 

One of the worst offenders have to be “Silence,” where the phrase, “Silence is safety from violence” is repeated four straight times at two different junctures. Another is “Shyness,” where the hook consists of repeating, “Shyness. Let it go never have to feel so lonely, shyness, shyness,” twice in a row. For anyone who doesn’t want to do the math, that equates to using the world “shyness” six times within a span of 24 words. 

The band takes its name from a New Order song; which took its name from a Robert Altman movie which took its name from a crime novel written in 1937 by Edwin Anderson. Despite showing good taste in influences, the band apparently neglected to grab any of New Order’s signature creative style when they picked their moniker.  

Not only do they not really channel New Order they don’t have Erasure’s dance groove, Depeche Mode’s intensity, Ministry’s anger or The Chemical Brothers’ club appeal. While sometimes being unique is good, in this case the band seems caught in-between all of these styles which leads to a rather bland, indistinct collection of songs. 

While I’m picking fault, there is also some really loose use of rhyming. Does “friendship” actually rhyme with the word “shit”? Doesn’t seem like it to me but then again my kindergarten teacher frowned on us rhyming with swear words. 

The best part of Again and Again is hidden toward the end. Tracks 8 and 9, “The Walk,”  and “So Clear,” are actually sort of catchy. “The Walk,”  mercifully picks up the tempo after the seven previous tracks which mostly moved at the same speed as New England maple syrup in January. “It’s Clear” is probably a little long at 7:21 but it stays fresh with more style changes than the other songs on Again and Again. 

Thieves Like Us are young and may yet have a stellar career. You can hear potential in many of the songs on Again and Again; unfortunately it is hidden behind weak lyrical content, thin production and a lack of memorable hooks.  

High Point

Tracks 8 and 9 actually have some tempo and flair

Low Point

Repetitious lyrics replace actual hooks in many songs.

Posted by Mike Stern on Aug 03, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

thieves like us, again and again, review