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Thieves' Kitchen - Argot CD (album) cover


Thieves' Kitchen


Eclectic Prog

3.41 | 57 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Edited 10/4/2005!

The band Thieves' Kitchen is taking a big effort to get away from the typical Neoprog cliché and to play some more original and intricate music and I have to say they managed this quite successful. I did not hear their first album, I only read that it was already quite good as well. On this one here Argot (which has the meaning of a secret language for thieves) there are plenty of odd rhythms and meandering complex lines of keyboards and guitar present. The keyboard sounds are very versatile ranging from piano over organ, strings to brass and typical synths and sounding mostly quite natural. And despite the very high complexity they never exaggerate it to the extreme or in a "pretentious" way at any moment. The songs might be not very "catchy" but they are all the times very much enjoyable and there is always something left to discover even after plenty of spins.

The first track John Doe Number One is starting quite heavily with complex lines of keyboards, guitar and bass and odd rhythms. Later there is a very nice part with electric piano and vocals after 6:00 which is repeated around 14:00. Although being the longest one with over twenty minutes the track never fails at any moment to lose the listener's attraction and fascination.Escape starts in a pastoral vein with nice organ leading over to a mid-tempo piano part with good drum work. Drums by Mark Robotham (previously GREY LADY DOWN) are by the way excellent all over the record. Again the complexity of the melodic lines is just mind blowing and fascinating. In Proximity we hear around 8:00 a very nice soaring part with wordless vocals and guitar. Call To Whoever is a bit less complex track and in some way more in a "normal" Neoprog vein, but very well done, very melodic and nice. But I'll give up trying to describe the music. Although it reminds a bit to Echolyn and as well to some of the "old 70's veterans" it's still quite different and for sure very original and not derivative at all. Much of the guitar soloing has something known from Jazz fusion, so the development they did on their third album is in fact not that much surprising. But this will be another review altogether.

I can only say: This is an excellent addition to any prog collection! 4 well deserved stars!

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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