Count the Thief is a Bangkok-based progressive indie-rock trio who have been playing throughout South East Asia but with large aspirations, Count the Thief is continually preparing for shows and travels. Members Danny Duncombe (Bass and Vocals) and Toby Willems (Drums and Vocals) are from the UK, while guitarist Dave Lefor is Canadian.
Count the Thief met in Bangkok in late 2013, and in the space of a year and a half, they have garnered attention from an international mix of artists and fans. They are always experimenting with new sounds and arrangements, and are always looking for new opportunities worldwide. Count the Thief released their studio debut, ‘New Role’ on March 1, 2015.
Count the Thief has injected a potent breath of fresh air with its 7-track debut effort, ‘New Role’. The record doesn’t overpower the listener. It has a fully energized quietness, a subtlety that makes it nearly impossible to fully appreciate on first listen. But with each subsequent listen, its layers are uncovered, slowly and deliciously.
Count the Thief define a whole new outlook on guitar driven rock songs and the romanticism of the vocalist. They capture an entirely new way of looking at how a rock album can be written. It is an album of extremes, from soft and sweet melodious singing to crashing feats of guitar distortion. It has the dynamics of progressive rock, but without the unnecessary lard usually encased in rather fat fits of grandeur displayed in most rock-with-a-point records.
‘New Role’ capitalizes on the power of subtlety and quiet heaviness. The whole album is amazing from front to back, not just in the songwriting and arrangement, but down to the very mixing and clarity of the instrumentation. The range of emotions explored on throughout the tracks is astounding and effective while the frequent juxtaposition of harshness and beauty works incredibly well, especially on the first track, “Lights”.
The spectrum of melody and experimentation is broadened in the single, “Vintage” holding its own quiet force of deafening emotion. Dave Lefor really is the driving force of this masterpiece, his almost peregrine guitar rhythms and melodies create a very addictive aura within the album- you never know what he is going to throw at you next, like on “New Role” and “Mother Tongue” -which really emphasizes the incredible songwriting on this album.
Danny Duncombe’s vocals and bass playing is at a remarkable level, and fit perfectly with the mood of each song, while drummer Toby Willems builds the bold, off -axis beats into dramatic soundscapes. Overall, the band’s playing somehow maintains a rawness and primal intensity, while the achieved sound is almost flawless and smooth. Hypnotic bass and drum rhythms mix with guitar sounds that are alternately peaceful and aggressive. Then add in the vocals with dream-like lyrics and you get an all-around awesome record.
As moods shape-shift from the sepia-toned “86” and “Exchange/Replace”, to the Baroquely scaled, up-tempo “Bring Up The Bodies” with its rolling drums and driven bass lines, the listener becomes aware of how the sound of a musical and lyrical maturity, that normally doesn’t occur until a band’s third or fourth album, is right here in ‘New Role’ !
Count the Thief is proof positive that rock has plenty of life and vision left in it yet.