Bruce Soord is one of the driving forces behind The Pineapple Thief that launched back 17 years ago and the group have released ten albums so far. This year, Soord has released his first solo debut album on the Kscope label with help from Darran Charles of Godsticks on Guitar. He recorded the album in his own studio last summer whilst he premiered some of the material he did on the UK tour with Sweet Billy Pilgrim. His sole self-titled debut, shows a softer and dreamland side to Soord.
There are moments that show the essences of Steven Wilson, Radiohead, David Bowie, and early Pink Floyd that really bring the ingredients to different level. It’s more acoustic, layered, catchy, and pop. Both Soord and Charles are amazing musicians and have captivated the beauty and the inner side of the emotional spiritual momentum that is brought on here.
The Odds is a captivated rhythm section. Between the chugging train sounds by the acoustic guitar, catchy drumbeats, and a bluesy-funk guitar lead section. It has almost the ‘80s sound that it feels like it was recorded in 1980. The encouragement between the two of them shows a lot of power and collaborations that will make you dance to. And I really got a kick out of the song not just because it’s exciting, but it’s the wonder, and the power of what will happen next.
Willow Tree has a mid-tempo acoustic guitar rhythm followed by a brass section. There’s a soft and tender warmth vibration on here in which Soord nails it on his vocal arrangements. The closing finale took me by surprise. I could imagine both Bruce and Darran were paying homage to film composer Ennio Morricone for an orchestral vibe in the Italian Spaghetti Western scores with a mariachi end for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Opener, Black Smoke is a piano composition that Soord sings well and emotionally, touching. It deals with finding true hope and remembering the loss of innocence while the two-part Field Day brings a moodier and calmer folky-sque Floydian background. It features wailing cry from the electric guitar that Darran does in the style of David Gilmour to pay honor and homage to the legend as the lyrics deals with regret and falling into darkness and never being afraid.
Buried Here is another slowed-down rhythm, but a heavenly and ominous atmosphere. It does remind me of something straight out of Steven Wilson’s earlier days with Porcupine Tree, but adding the spooky keyboard sounds from the organ gives it a frightening and effective. I have so far listened to Bruce Soord’s sole self-titled debut about three times now. Now I have to admit, I’m new to Soord’s music and he brings energy here.
He’s also a very busy man when it comes to mixing. He worked on the 5.1 mix for Opeth’s sixth album, Deliverance reissued last year along with Steven Wilson's mix of Damnation in a 2-CD/2-DVD set, Tesseract’s album Polaris, and collaborated with Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse with 2013’s Wisdom of Crowd project. You never know what to expect from Soord and what he and Steven Wilson in which they are almost for me, the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson of musicianship. Go ahead and check Soord’s solo album, you’ll get a kick out of it.