After a polarising sophomore album, The Temper Trap have triumphantly returned to their former glory with their highly-anticipated and anthemic third album Thick As Thieves.
Despite their recent downsize (guitarist and founding member Lorenzo Sillitto departed in 2013), this record is much stronger, with guitar-heavy melodies and simplistic lyricism; it’s instantly likeable. Notably distinctive and less cluttered than their last, the 11-track album is similar to their sing-along debut Conditions, yet nuanced with stripped back riffs and spirit.
This time round however, the boys employed the expertise of famed producers and songwriters, which gives it a distinguished pop rock feel. The impressive list of collaborators includes Malay (co-writer and producer on Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange record), Ben Allen (Bombay Bicycle Club, Animal Collective, Deer Hunter), Justin Parker (Lana Del Ray, Sia, Bat For Lashes) and Pascal Gabriel (Ladyhawke, Goldfrapp) to name a few.
Weightier in the first six tracks, Thick As Thieves is a tight, collaborative record that’s ripe with energetic rock anthems and laced with signature broodiness. It’s big choruses back-to-back, washed with positivity and infectious melodies.
Hit single Thick As Thieves opens and marks a more mature direction for the boys with its moody intro and dirtier guitar licks. The track anchors them as Aussie rockers with its grit and energy, and is testament to their hard work in the studio.
You’ll be singing along to the coos and echoes of tracks like So Much Sky and Burn upon first listen. Equally catchy as hell, they showcase frontman Dougy Mandagi’s unwavering falsettos and guitar skills. It’s too easy to envision hoards of fans mimicking his every word come their next gig, with basic, yet uplifting lyrics that are slightly reminiscent of both U2 and Coldplay.
Tracks like Fall Together and Alive are bolstered with explosive choruses and powerful, emotive lyricism. They feel louder like they’re shouting their return, and it’s welcomed. Under the weight of expectation and with over a million records sold, tracks like these cement their position as a leading Aussie rock band and validate their plethora of award wins.
So, the question is – can these Melbournians shake off the shackles of their Conditions ‘curse’? I can’t answer that. But who the fuck cares if they can’t? Their unique indie rock anthems, like Sweet Disposition, are the reason why we fell hard for them in the first place. They’ve simultaneously taken risks and returned to their roots with this album, giving us a more polished and defined sound that definitely deserves a spin.
Thick As Thieves is out June 10 via Liberation Music.
WATCH: Music Feeds presenter Luke chats to The Temper Trap all about the new album.