2 years ago I reviewed the debut album from Nothing But Thieves. It was one of the best debuts I’ve heard, and it firmly cemented them as one of my favourite bands. After waiting for what felt like an eternity, Nothing But Thieves have returned with Broken Machine, and I’m excited to say that the band have definitely not fallen victim to the ‘difficult second album’ curse.
First things first – Broken Machine is a record bursting with confidence. ‘I Was Just a Kid’ wastes no time in introducing itself with swaggering guitar and a striking beat. It’s immediate, and perfectly sets up the rest of the album. It’s the rockier tracks like ‘I’m Not Made by Design’ and ‘Number 13’ where the band really shine, whilst ‘Live Like Animals‘ continues the bands experimental streak by sounding like the love-child of Twenty One Pilots and Enter Shikari.
I’m pleased to say that you’ll find some of the bands best songs to date on Broken Machine. Recent singles ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Sorry’ are undeniable anthems which will continue to send the band skyward, but it’s ‘Particles‘ which promises to be a future fan-favourite. Conor’s vocals are simply flawless, and the song has a haunting beauty to it. If you were looking for the next ‘Lover, Please Stay’, this is the one.
Whilst the album is full of superb tracks, Broken Machine does unfortunately suffer from slight fatigue with 13 tracks. I can’t help but feel like dropping a couple of tracks would have made for a tighter record, with ‘Soda‘ and ‘Afterlife‘ being my options to leave on the cutting room floor.
Broken Machine is a stunning record that builds on everything that makes Nothing But Thieves such a fantastic band. Packed full of fantastic rock songs, you’ll find more than enough to sink your teeth into, even if there might be a bit too much on offer. And who knows, if they continue to grow and refine themselves as much as they have between album one and two, their next album could even be Album of the Year material.
Released: Friday 8th September 2017
You need to listen to: ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Particles’, ‘I’m Not Made by Design’