Thieves Like Us, Bleed Bleed Bleed
Moving away from the dour shades of its predecessor
Thieves Like Us are often compared to accessible, intelligent electro-pop bands like Hot Chip, but so far their success has been mainly confined to specialist circles. Bleed Bleed Bleed, the follow up to 2009′s Play Music, sounds like it aims to change that. Moving away from the dour shades of its predecessor, there’s a dreamy, breezy atmosphere running through much of the album, bolstered by a couple of irrepressibly catchy anthems.
The title cut opens in a hazed swoosh of Telecasters and 808 drums, striking a sweet balance between lightweight and lachrymose. “Stay Blue” is the kind of bright electronic disco artists like Kompakt mainstay Justus Kohncke were doing over a decade ago, though Andy Grier’s uncertain, reverb-heavy vocals bestow the track with its own quirky dream-pop charm. This subdued, distantly ironic feel crops up elsewhere, notably on the borderline tweeness of “Your Love Runs Still” and the languid, end of night slow dance swing of “The Killing Revelation.”
For all its affectionate ’80s postures, though, the album’s high point comes in the form of “Maria Marie,” a joyous and infectious three minutes of gauzy neo-pop that’s the clearest call to the dancefloor Thieves Like Us have produced to date. Like much of their work, it owes a debt to New Order in both conception and execution, but in the best possible way – once imprinted on your cerebral cortex, this one simply won’t leave.