Thieves - Achiever
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: July 31, 2012
I don’t like concept records; I don’t like the concept of concept records. The story too often gets muddled over the course of some overly complicated plotline that ends up having no significance. I don’t care what’s happening to the character; everything feels like unnatural and forced. Still when Texas pop-punkers Thieves had a short video explaining the concept of this record being about this kid who just really wanted to fly, it sparked my interest.
Achiever is what every concept album should aim to be. This band has a sound that Take This to Your Grave would sound like Fall Out Boy were just a bit heavier and more technically skilled. For such a popular album, you rarely see bands with a comparable sound. In particular James Beveridge on the drums is constantly providing interesting pieces of work. These are songs that you’ll hear in a live setting and feel the punches of every instrument in your chest.
I listen to music constantly. I can’t remember the last time I went a day without listening to music. There are tons of talented lyricists that come to mind when I think of my favorites but very few of them have lyrics that I would call inspirational. Not just because that’s a really cheesy word to use but most of the music I enjoy doesn’t really aim to inspire.
Listening to the first track of Achiever; it sounds like the message is a very obvious and often reinforced one: you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. That’s a message though worn-out, would be good enough for me. However the real message is almost the opposite and the first track feels almost as if the lyrics were playing on anticipated expectations.
Expectations, is in fact one of the main themes within this album. The “story” isn’t really a series of events but rather functions almost like a soliloquy. Each song focuses on motivations of the character building a connection to the listener and slowly revealing exactly why he wants to fly. On the sixth track, we’re taken on what can be seen as the climax as the character comes to the realization that we’re “Entitled to Nothing.”
The five minute track stunned me upon initial listen. When vocalist Billy Canino started singing about “the American dream being shoved down my throat”, you best believe I got thrown on my ass. A pop-punk band was making me actually think (shout out to Soupy) and it didn’t feel like a cheap attempt at being deep because I heard him having the same doubts as me just a track before.
“You’re not grown up or old, stop living like your story’s already been told.”
Achiever came at a point in my life where I was unsure of what anything really meant and it felt like this character was going through the same things as me to reach the conclusion to stop setting yourself up for failure and that life isn’t about your achievements; it’s about experiences. It like really, actually inspired me to live my life in a different way. My reviews come from the belief that the artist deserves to have more fans but for this instance I think it’s the fans that deserve Thieves.