The Gentlemen Thieves Uncertainties
Published Apr 18, 2014There's a scene in the movie Glory Daze in which an art teacher criticizes Ben Affleck's character's final project, saying that nobody cares about the affluent, white, suburban male. "But I was raised in the suburbs... that's what I know," says Affleck in stunned response. Mississauga's Gentlemen Thieves probably sit firmly with Affleck in this exchange.
After releasing a five-track EP, the band re-teamed with former Sum 41 guitarist Dave "Brownsound" Baksh, who produced last year's "Shooter" seven-inch. Buzz-saw guitars, gang-vocal choruses and even a short diversion into ska reveal a band deeply indebted to pop-punk stalwarts like Face to Face, How Far Shallow Takes You-era Gob and yes, Sum 41. But like Affleck's character, the Gentleman Thieves are reflecting their reality — they didn't make this record for you, they made it for themselves. And anyone who grew up with those same sonic signifiers will find plenty of ephemeral pleasure in Uncertainties.
Yet in chasing the sounds of their heroes, the band forgot to inject some of their own lives into the mix. Their lyrics reflect typical punk tropes — unrequited love, alienation and a sense of purposelessness — but they're written in the most general terms, making it difficult for listeners to invest in the Gentlemen Thieves rather than the bands that inspired them. (Independent)