IV Thieves - If We Can't Escape My Pretty (New West, 2006)
Singer-Songwriter Nic Armstrong has gotten all democratic and taken his name off the marquee, joining his former backing band in the IV Thieves. They also ditched England for the hothouse music scene of Austin, Texas and recorded this album which combines shaggy garage rock and roll with Beatle-esque pop flourishes. The album has a couple of rockers that have been groomed as singles like "You Can't Love What You Don't Understand" which has a roomier more well produced sound, and "Take This Heart" which adds some psychedelic touches to the fist pumping chant along lyrics. The most interesting songs come later as the band mines the Revolver/Rubber Soul sound of the Beatles quite deeply with complex but pleasing harmonies on "Catastrophe" and the scorching "Take This Heart." Escape the home country if they like, but they still sound like an English rock band in the lineage of Oasis and The Libertines which are pretty heavy company, so there's nothing wrong with that. While they haven't yet become a very original group, they wear their influences proudly and make good, tight retro-rock. If any of the bands mentioned above strike your fancy, this disc might be something you would enjoy as well.
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