It Leads To This is art-rock quartet The Pineapple Thief’s 14th album of new material, and their fourth to feature erstwhile King Crimson and Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison. The percussion maestro again took an active role in composing the album, and this time around, he and TPT frontman Bruce Soord decided to do things differently.
In contrast to the process of writing and constructing songs remotely that they and their bandmates had taken with previous albums, Soord and Harrison worked up the bulk of the record in the same room.
Says Soord, “When I was driving back from Gavin’s house after working together for several days, I felt like a zombie because I don’t think I’ve ever put myself through that kind of intense collaborative songwriting experience before.”
Harrison found it an invigorating experience: “Previously, Bruce would write something, send it to me and we’d go back and forth that way. This was more working up ideas together in the moment. And I think it makes these songs sound different to any we’ve done before.”
The eight tracks that made it onto the finished album have also ended up relatively concise compared to the long-form affairs on previous records (“I think the phrase someone coined was ‘fat free,’” says Soord). Nonetheless, there’s an intriguing complexity to some of Harrison’s rhythm tracks that still push boundaries.
“You could say that every chord in the world has been played,” he says, “but rhythmically, I don’t think everything’s been covered, and I still strive to come up with something original. I feel like I’ve done that on this record.”
Lyrically, the topical influence that marked 2020’s Versions Of The Truth can also be heard on It Leads To This. “Again, it’s informed by what’s going on in the world,” says Soord,“and unfortunately right now it’s a bit of a shitshow. But there’s an unspoken question mark after that title, It Leads To This – it doesn’t have to be that way, and I still have hope.”
The band’s 2024 tour starts on February 20 at Manchester’s O2 Ritz, and Soord expects several new tracks will be showcased at those shows among tracks spanning much of their 25-year career.