EP Review: Bicycle Thieves

Formed in 2015, Bicycle Thieves is a four-piece punk rock group from Cardiff. The group’s unique sound is influenced by different punk rock or hardcore bands – unsurprising, given that all four members have played in other punk bands and are “key players” in their music scene. Bicycle Thieves have scheduled the release of their debut EP for April 29, and are planning to sell it both digitally and physically.

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The EP cover.

The first track off of the EP, Better Times, begins with slightly muffled guitar. After a minute, the guitar stops and drums come in, leading into the sudden clarity of sound seen by many punk bands. The vocals have the same near-scratchy quality as Kurt Cobain’s in the chorus of Lithium – a description that, while oddly specific, is accurate. The passion and enthusiasm with which the band plays is evident in their music; each member is working his hardest to create the final result.

The second song, Everything Is Not OK, is faster and more intense than its precursor. The speed and transitions make it sound like it belongs on a Blink-182 album, but the overall sound is incredibly unique. The track ends with a gradual fadeout, and Let You Down begins.

Let You Down has more prominent drums than the first two, and the vocals go slightly higher than before in the chorus. The lyrics fit easily with the title. Although this seems like an easy requirement, it’s shockingly uncommon in the world of indie punk. The guitar dominates the bridge and ending, but the drums help support the song.

The final track, and recent single of the band, is titled We’ll Be The Ones (You’re Afraid To Be). This track instills heavy nostalgia in the listener, and sounds much like the various punk anthems of the early 2000s. The chord progression sounds familiar, but can’t be placed. About halfway through the song, it slows down a bit. This slower section ends with silence, a rimshot, and the return of the melody. The sudden starting-and-stopping pattern is used by various artists for various purposes, often to create suspense in the song. The EP ends with a slow fadeout.

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The four members of Bicycle Thieves.

Although Bicycle Thieves started a mere few months ago, their sound is that of a practiced group. It’s clear that the members work well together, and their music so far is exceptional for the level that they are currently at. Time will tell whether or not Bicycle Thieves stay together and continue to create, but their passion can take them far if they let it.

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