After a long two years with no new music – four since their last full-length – The Noble Thiefs finally released their highly anticipated sophomore effort late last year.
The full album, titled It’s Tough To Be The Bad Guy, dropped in November, but fans got a sneak peak with “How Can You Think Of Love (At A Time Like This)?” a month earlier. That track, which aptly opens the album, is a high-energy romp, perfectly showcasing the band’s unique blend of filthy ’70s rock and R&B.
But this isn’t just a run-of-the-mill rock album. The Thiefs know how to make a masterpiece. It’s Tough To Be The Bad Guy continues its ’70s rock run with “I Died In America”, an upbeat slow jam if there ever was one.
“Give ’em Hell” speeds the album back up. It’s layered and intricate, with the guitars and drums and vocals really coming together to raise the song.
The band continues the high-energy record with “Since ’86”. With it’s sleazy ’80s sound and dirty electric guitars, it’s a quick favourite. Plus, you can’t help but sing along with lyrics like, “My mama was a lover/My papa was a hustler/This world made me a fighter/They say I’m a rock-n-rolla/But I can’t seem to get enough”.
What I really like about this record, though, is that The Noble Thiefs prove they’re more than their high-energy reputation. They’re not afraid to slow it down, as evidenced by “I Died In America”, and the reprise of “When You’re In Love”, from their two-track teaser in 2013, which seems natural and hazier and entirely different from the original.
“I Must Behave” and “Tread Lightly” follow that down-n-dirty slow jam trend, with the former a smoky, gritty tune and the latter a more R&B-focused song.
The 10-track record is a perfectly mastered one. It’s fun and proves the band isn’t afraid to experiment. It’s a great intro to the Winnipeg-based band if you’ve never heard them, and it’s exactly what fans needed and wanted from the group.
For more on The Noble Thiefs, visit their website.