Sneaky Thieves: Accident(s)

[29 August 2006]

By Jason MacNeil

Consisting of two sets of brothers from Seattle, Sneaky Thieves commence this album with a quasi-hymnal instrumental aptly titled “Elegy”. At times eerie, the group delves into “With a Smile in a Suit” that is a cross between Death Cab For Cutie and Canadian group The Rheostatics—a quirky, meandering track that still manages to draw one in. There’s nothing breathtaking or spectacular about this record, just a general understanding that the group knows what it wants to do, and to do it well. Think of Robert Plant’s softer moments on recent releases and you get the gist of songs such as “Quiet”. Quiet describes several of the songs here, a restrained and deliberate string of efforts such as “Old Tired Joke” that brings to mind Radiohead, as well as the somber, piano-fuelled “Across the Field”. The prettiest of the lot here has to be “The Discarded”, which has a great male-female duet and harmony accented with strings. “The Din” is another nugget that sounds like a group recording at home, hoping nobody comes down the basement steps to screw things up. And it’s this hushed tone that colors “Coughing” and “Forgotten”, the latter evolving into a large, Arcade Fire-lite pattern.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/sneaky-thieves-accidents/