by Christopher Patterson
There is a predilection for North-Western bands to absolve themselves in indie calmness, and in Seattle it’s not unusual to go into a coffee shop and see tons of students wearing headphones with their heads immersed in study material. It’s bands like Sneaky Thieves that make it possible for these students to intensely study differential calculus while at the same time, listen to their favorite rock tune. That is because the soft indie music that Sneaky Thieves perpetuates only requires about 10% of brain power to listen to, as it’s never innovative or very catchy. If it was, students might find it distractive.
While some may call it uninteresting, this “hovering” type of slow rock suspends the listener in what can only be described as an odd pleasantness, if not a welcoming snooze. Accident(s) is an album filled with peaceful guitar chord progressions mixed with a single electric in the background that skips about like the polychrome sparrow on the album’s cover. It’s romantic in a somewhat cheesy way that only indie can do, though this band seems to emulate Radiohead in more than an “influence” type of way.
While the music of Sneaky Thieves by itself can be at times serene and enjoyable, the vocals obviate it by constantly reminding us how tortured the lead singer is. We end up wishing him only more harm, for just when a clarinet enters a song in a splendorous hum, the singer returns to fill the melody with repeated neo-gothic lines like: “Please don’t tell me any liiihiihiies.” While this sort of degenerate lyricism is forgivable in one single event, the fact that the singer repeats this line over a dozen times in a single song is just misanthropic.