Thieves And Liars
Released: 2012, Independent
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
You can argue there was a precedent for it, but when Peter Dolving departed The Haunted earlier this year, for the second time in the band’s history, it caught a lot of us a little off guard. It was some time more before any answers came to light. But whilst the sounds of speculation chattered the background, Peter retreated to the countryside outside Gothenburg and threw himself once again into making music, adding to a body of work that had been growing over the last year. Some of the fruits of that process became this, his first solo debut, Thieves And Liars.
So you know what you’re buying into – this isn’t any era of The Haunted, it isn’t ‘heavy’ metal, it’s a fairly straight forward rock album with an ear for a tune. Interestingly Thieves And Liars seems to take as much from English bands such as The Cure, as it does the grungier end of alternative rock, and even dashes of brighter jazzy/pop.
The result is an experimental album that doesn’t feel like a half-arsed experiment, but a valid body of work of the newest wave of alt-rock. So you find songs like ‘Meinhof’ with its Clash-y bass rhythm and sparser vocals, alongside the smoother groove of ‘Hands On’, which layers two vocal threads to a climatic end. It has something in common with the balls-out swag of ‘Cocksucker Blues’ that dominates in terms of sheer attitude, and chanting ‘Lie, Steal, Cheat, and Kill’ lyric.
‘Ordinary Folk’ is a little like a jam in a music school room where the lesson objective is to use as many instruments as possible, whilst the lyrics sound like a lost tainted Sesame Street episode, which is brought to you by outside-the-box, and anti-conformatism. Also feeling a little jammy is ‘My Will To Die’ which is quite gentile in its musical style, but lyrically the message is as dark as the title suggests, and delivered with gritted anger by Peter when this type of thing usually registers at the sad end of the scale.
In fact, on the whole vocally Thieves And Liars is closest to Peter’s work on The Haunted’s latest album Unseen, but as always I admire his sheer vocal elasticity. Words never seem to be void of meaning in his mouth, and whether fragile or rage-stricken the delivery is spot on every time, minimising the divide between artist and listener.
Peter feels at his most personal on ‘So Sick’, which would appear to elude to his issues with the music industry etc and the toll this has taken. Actually the second half of Thieves And Liars certainly seems to speak with more frustration and anger than the first, from the weighed down ‘No Solicitors’ to closer ‘All This Beauty’, which cries out against an atmospheric backdrop.
Don’t let the garish cover confuse you – Thieves And Liars is distinctly dark in tone, the sinisterly sexy little black number in Peter’s wardrobe, which you may find also fits you like a glove.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs