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Thieves and Villains - Movement Album Cover

Thieves and Villains - Movement

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3.3
Thieves and Villains -- Movement
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Record Label: Victory Records

As a lifelong fan of music, what hurts the most is when a band with endless potential gives up their chosen method of expression in order to play it safe. Safety doesn't sell albums from new artists in today's industry, and safety rarely wins fans over. One of the more recent signings to Victory Records, Thieves and Villains, are the newest (and surely not the last) band to wander down that winding road to bargain bin hell with their debut full-length, Movement.

One of the biggest problems with Movement is the mind-numbing lack of hooks. Producer Paul Leavitt helps the band put a true "soundscape" out there, but as a result, the amphitheater sound for a basement band sucks any sense of urgency or energy from the music. Songs like "Dry Throats Unite," "Shimmer," and "Atlantic Lungs" will get your foot tapping, but when it comes to substance, that seems to have been left out of the equation. In fact, your mind will start to bleed every single song together over the course of the album, partly because guitar parts from Chris Pennings aren't ambitious at all. Sporadic drumming adds little to the music, and the lack of depth and command of the vocals gives Movement a completely lifeless feel.

TAV's Sergio Otaegui has a sharp nasal tone to his singing voice that used to give the band's music a leg to stand on, and a way to stand out from every other pop-rock band with repetitive melodies and a dream, much like New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik did for years. Unfortunately, the record features little of that, instead leaving Otaegui's vocals tuned into the middle of the pack in a misguided attempt to save his band's lackluster music by preaching accessibility. "Who Am I To Say Night" is a perfect example of this; when he dances at the upper reaches of his register in the chorus, it comes out, but otherwise the vocals are as generic as you can find in a record today.

You can do a fair sight better than this album if you're looking for pop-rock CDs to fawn over this year. Thieves and Villains' Movement struggles to even reach second-rate, and I fully expect this album to fall mostly on deaf ears. Sounding like they wanted to capitalize on a trend, the band opted for glossy overproduction that doesn't suit their sound, and it completely buries three-fourths of the band in most of the songs. What sounds the death knell of this record is Otaegui's inability to take control of his own music; he fights to rise above the mediocre soundscape playing around him, and as a result, the music sounds as though it was recorded in an empty concert hall and that effect strips every bit of emotion from this record. Movement stole several hours of my time with this exceedingly boring collection of songs; don't let it do the same to you.
Track List01. Dry Throats Unite
02. Movement
03. Let Go
04. I Have Spread Some Love
05. Everyone Believes
06. All I Needed
07. Shimmer
08. Who Am I To Say the Night
09. Atlantic Lungs
10. Worlds Apart
11. Settle, New York, Settle
Listen to Thieves and VillainsAP.net Profile | Myspace |
This review is a user submitted review from Tony Pascarella. You can see all of Tony Pascarella's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 413
09:41 PM on 07/07/08
#2
Tony Pascarella
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Should anyone wish to avoid taking my advice and actually decide to check out some of the songs for themselves, the full album is available for $9.99 on iTunes (click the image above).

Additionally, if you'd like a notification in your UserCP when I write a new review, click my name in this post and then click "Friend."
09:44 PM on 07/07/08
#3
llmp
Incorrigality
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From the older stuff I heard, it sounds like you did a great job describing them/their problems as a band. Good stuff. Though I expected it to be a little more harsh for a 33% score, haha. You're much nicer than I would have been.
09:45 PM on 07/07/08
#4
Scott Irvine
Your Virtual Pnin
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Agreed.
09:47 PM on 07/07/08
#5
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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I love this album, myself.
I don't mind the fact that they've changed and aren't writing "pop-rock" exactly anymore. It's more indie-pop now than it is pop-rock.
09:50 PM on 07/07/08
#6
Tony Pascarella
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From the older stuff I heard, it sounds like you did a great job describing them/their problems as a band. Good stuff. Though I expected it to be a little more harsh for a 33% score, haha. You're much nicer than I would have been.
It feels like they mailed it in which makes me really sad because I was hoping they'd lead the whole Victory signing poppier bands trend into something substantial.
09:50 PM on 07/07/08
#7
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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I don't understand the low marks on lyrics.
09:54 PM on 07/07/08
#8
hockeyguitar99
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I actually really like this album. I understand thats its nothing special but I think a 33 might have been a little harsh.
10:00 PM on 07/07/08
#9
Tony Pascarella
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I actually really like this album. I understand thats its nothing special but I think a 33 might have been a little harsh.
If it's nothing special, why should I insinuate that it is?

This is among the top 5 most forgettable albums I've heard this year.
10:07 PM on 07/07/08
liar23
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good review. I listened to the previews of the songs and just got away from it.
10:08 PM on 07/07/08
hockeyguitar99
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If it's nothing special, why should I insinuate that it is?

This is among the top 5 most forgettable albums I've heard this year.

Fair enough.

Your opinions your opinion.
10:13 PM on 07/07/08
Billy Da Mute
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
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i previewed this on itunes and it just sounded like more generic pop punk to add to the endless amounts there is today, i was hesitant to download it on ruckus but your nicely done review convinced me to just say fuck it
10:21 PM on 07/07/08
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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I could barely make it five songs in. Trendy, forgettable garbage. People who think this is good must not know a good hook from the sound of flatulence.

33% is too nice in my eyes, but nevertheless, great review Tonal.
10:39 PM on 07/07/08
HBRDSP
Check out my band Key to the Midway
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If it's nothing special, why should I insinuate that it is?

This is among the top 5 most forgettable albums I've heard this year.

Haha this makes no sense to me?
If you can rate an album in the top 5 forgettable field, then have you really forgotten it?
Not being an asshole, just confuses me haha. However I myself do enjoy this album, but had never heard their older stuff, so I'll have to check that out and compare.
11:51 PM on 07/07/08
Scott Irvine
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Haha this makes no sense to me?
If you can rate an album in the top 5 forgettable field, then have you really forgotten it?

Forgettable as in he listened to it but nothing struck him in a way that he'd be willing to go through it again. He'll ultimately forget about it because it's an album not worth going back to.

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