Nation of Thieves sound like I went back in time and kidnapped members of all the early ‘90s post-hardcore bands, held them at gunpoint, and forced them to write songs on demand. But as much as they evoke the sound of early ‘90s post-hardcore, Nation of Thieves is not merely a carbon copy throwback band. There is quality songwriting at work in each of the four original songs on this demo (track five is a cover of the Undertow song “Taken”).
The core of Nation of Thieves is composed of three members of the good (though short-lived) Connecticut band Generations. Jim Bach, Chris Richter, and Preston Hyer of Generations all return on vocal, guitar, and bass duties respectively. Rounding out their lineup for Nation of Thieves are newcomers “CT Keith” and Rob Granoth on second guitar and drums.
Keith holds his own on second guitar opposite Richter and the two trade leads on a number of songs, and combined with Hyer on bass, they produce a number of rocking riffs and heavy breakdowns. The solid (though not overly technical) drumming of Granoth holds everything together musically. This creates the perfect backdrop to the intense screams and heartfelt singing of Bach, whose lyrics are both witty and passionate, and devoid of any hint of pretense or cliché that hardcore bands get caught in so easily.
The linked songs “The Silence…” and “It’s Deafening” are my picks for the top two songs on the demo. Both musically and lyrically these songs capture the essence of great hardcore. It is easy to say just by listening to this demo that this band has a bright future ahead of it, and having seen them play live at the With Honor reunion show, I can say that they sound just as solid live as they do recorded. Look for them on tour this summer, and grab a copy of this soon-to-be classic demo while you still can.
(Nation of Thieves, 146 Garden Grove Road, Manchester, CT 06040)