Five-piece Nothing But Thieves are not without accolades; having supported some of the biggest bands in the world including Muse and Biffy Clyro, sold out UK tours and had two successful albums. Emotionally astute songwriter/frontman Conor Mason has won them a legion of adoring fans however they have yet to break the middle ground and achieve the success of those they take to the stage with.
Their discography firmly encompasses the definition of alt-rock with the band blended the best elements of their favourite bands from the last two decades into their own noise. Moral Panic is no different, as the album ignites with opening track Unperson.
A blistering, panic driven tribute to the noughties techno rage of Enter Shikari/Hadouken this is the heaviest track on the album as the band find their pop shoes. Is Everybody Going Crazy is disgustingly catchy with a riff that Muse would have been proud of before they found that pretentious synth-noir noise.
It’s no secret that Mason’s versatile vocals rival Muse’s own Matt Bellamy but it’s almost too easy to draw similarities between the bands across this album. Phobia builds from a dark whisper of a song into a powerful, blitz of paranoia and rage at the internet but that beat is also pretty similar to Muse’s Uprising.
A Real Love Song and There Was Sun undoubtedly take influence from the 1980’s both relying on synths to create changes in pace to the album. Whilst Real Love Song sits nicely as a stadium anthem, the latter song is a riffy, indie dance-bop.
Whilst the album is musically a bit of a mish-mash, one thing is a constant. The band’s incredible ability to capture the current global mood through lyrics. From Phobia to Is Everybody Crazy and This Feels Like The End even their track titles are pointing towards the unprecedented world we are experiencing at the moment.
Unlike 2020, the album itself is an uplifting experience. This is probably one of the most-anticipated albums of this year, with avid fans already taking to Reddit to hypothesise about the 11 tracks. The heavy reliance on pop-beats across Moral panic signals a new musical direction for the band which may not be enough to satisfy the existing fanbase however it will hopefully allow the band to gain the mainstream recognition they have been working towards.