All the history of music books that my father insists on giving for Christmas suggest that rock ‘n’ roll was all about the dancing when it started. That’s not so much the case now. It’s more about talking about dancing on-line while you share videos on your social media platform of choice. Or it’s about poorly sequenced synths. Frequently both. Thin Privilege is an album that is neither of these things. But it does provoke a physical response, even if its one that isn’t as universally applauded as a sweet dance move.
Live is obviously Thin Privilege’s environment of choice so the raw feel of the tracks here suits them perfectly. You get the feeling that robbed of the spontaneity of a live recording this album wouldn’t sound as vital as it does. Every song on this release nearly bursts with a nervous energy that tends to exhibit itself in either break neck speed and angular breaks or jerking, gargantuan grooves. I can see the argument that its an acquired taste cropping up quite often with regards to this band, but if you have a taste for exciting music that’s really, really good you should give this album a listen.
As Thin Privilege are totally sans guitar they don’t sound like a lot of other bands who are this aggressive that I listen to. That isn’t to say that they sacrifice anything that those bands have. In fact, the variety of sounds created by the two bass guitars is much more interesting and gives this album a lot more replay value than most of those bands. The fact that only two of the songs here break the 3 minute mark, both of those being over 5 minutes, probably acts in the band’s favour as well. Brevity is a tool that far too many artists are content to ignore in the tool box.
If people to listen to this bass focused band expecting something like Death From Above 1979 or a hardcore band if Victor Wooten was their master mind then they’re going to be disappointed. But if that’s as narrow minded a view as they have on what a band centred around bass could sound like then I’m glad they’re disappointed. Aggressive music is wonderful, but it is often pretty predictable. Comfortable. Easy.
Thin Privilege are none of these things. I think that’s awesome.