Could we have a new industrial super-group combo in the vein of Pigface? Well it would seem that way as The Joy Thieves have on the lead up to debut EP ‘This Will Kill That’ been naming names involved in the project and there are nearly 30 of them! It could get very busy on stage. Looking at the promo shots there seems to be a core of about 8 involved in the video below and it will probably come as no surprise that this ragtag band are led by Chris Connelly. The former Ministry, Revolting Cocks man and acclaimed solo artist is no stranger to set ups like this having already been in the aforementioned pigpen as well as The Damage Manual and more recently Cocksure, he is definitely a collaborator on projects and joining him here we have past and present members (to name just a few) of Stabbing Westward, Mindfunk, I Ya Toyah, Worm, Children On Stun, Marilyn Manson, Evil Mothers, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Blue October, Ashes Divide & W.O.R.M. If the prospect of all this doesn’t have you foaming at the mouth, well there’s a good chance the 6 songs here will do as there is a definite immediacy about them and plenty of hooks to go with it.
The self-titled ‘Joy Thieves’ itself is a bank heist in the making reminding a bit of a film where an attempted hold up goes totally FUBAR, think Killing Zoe, this could be its soundtrack . We are told in no uncertain terms what to do to avoid getting shot and the thievery is fast and effective with tribal beats, caustic vocals, snappy riffs and everything but bullets flying thrown into the mix. Once heard it’s a real earworm and if they were not closing all the banks around here it would be tempting to go into one masked up, carrying a double barrelled joy-stick and this playing on an 80’s style ghetto blaster. Staff would definitely get the message if nothing else. ‘This Will Kill That’ has some slow Ministerial riffing and a beat not unlike their own classics such as Thieves. No avoiding mentioning uncle Al’s mob and why should there be, future collaborator perhaps now some dust has settled? Chicago Waxtrax is alive and well here, a major coup as far as UK label Armalyte is concerned signing a band like this. There’s plenty to bounce around to as the vocals harangue and slew around the winding musicianship. Funky bass sticks out, drums suddenly up the tempo and the whole thing is particularly addictive. Mechanical wreckage piles up and ‘Chemical Dreams’ is a song that cites bands like Stabbing Westward and others from my past with a bristling solid sound. As well as the artists there are various producers and mixers involved in the project, some who have worked with the very best and it pays off here. The chorus will hit, there’s a bit of the god of fuck Mr Manson about it and it could have the scope to have arenas stomping boots along to its beat.
‘Tempting The Flame’ starts as a slow burning electronic swayer and subtly builds up the melodicism with a swooning choral line. Rather than sticking fingers up at you this one is practically saying “we can do a perfect Indie pop, rock song if we want” but then the chorus hits and things change a bit. I should point out that certain aspects of the EP are rather sweary and this is where it peaks. I’m not spoiling it any more than that but its great fun while it lasts rather than playground childishness. Violent Lucidity’ jangles and broods with a techno edge circa early Fini Tribe and RevCo, it’s a dance-laden late night club track and a dark segue into final number ‘Honeycomb And Silk which combines rough edges and sugary goodness as described.
I have to admit that as far as Cocksure were concerned, after their first album my interest waned. I am not sure what The Joy Thieves means as far as their status is concerned but this is much more to my liking and the EP has left me hungry for more. There’s stacks going on here, good memorable songs and the scope for a whole lot more. I’m not sure if we need as much recorded material as we got from Pigface themselves but ‘This Will Kill That’ holds things up neatly (pun intended) and I hope it’s not long before a debut album comes hot on its heels.
(8/10 Pete Woods)