After a decade spent beavering away at the peripheries of the British rock community, The Pineapple Thief finally stepped up a gear with 2010’s stunning Someone Here Is Missing, a thing of prog beauty that reined in the genre’s more excessive traits and married it to a grungy melodicism. Far from coasting on its success, Bruce Soord’s crew have built on its foundations to create their masterpiece.
All The Wars is the sound of a band reaching the height of their powers. There are instant comparisons to be made with neo-prog godheads Oceansize on Last Man Standing, while the ghost of Smashing Pumpkins haunts the choruses, Soord’s voice less nasal and whiney than Billy Corgan’s but sharing a sense of drama and radio-friendly hooks.
But what makes this a huge leap forward is the gorgeous application of strings courtesy of the Prague Philharmonic. It adds a sense of celestial grace that throws Soord’s thoughtful, soul-searching lyrics about loss, conflict and the cruelty of passing time into sharp relief.
With a choir adding to the swell of the sound, All The Wars transforms songs that could easily have been stripped back to just the frontman and an acoustic guitar into something truly magical.