The opening track on New Thoughts, ‘How To Talk’, contains a little bit of everything that Thread Pulls bring to the table. Unrelenting drums, throbbing bass, modal trumpet sounds and stark, oddly lazy vocals; it’s all there. Over the course of this, their debut album, the two-piece expand on these same sounds and make a great case for the creative benefit of limitations.
Thread Pulls are possessed of a regimental, no-frills approach that is rare in a band of their ilk. With every song coming in under the five-minute mark, they have resisted the temptation to get sucked into extended rhythmic assaults, preferring to keep things moving at a steady pace. Ideas are stated, stretched, looped and finished with, all within a time-frame that shouldn’t challenge even the shortest attention spans. The central combination of drums and bass remain locked together throughout, allowing the vocals and trumpet to fill a space that the lack of cymbals and guitars would have left void. Singer and bassist Gavin Duffy’s voice is certainly an unusual instrument, one with an astonishing range (as exemplified on ‘Sink and Swim’) and a certain throwaway tone that will disappoint those looking for sweetness amidst the gloom.
New Thoughts is not an easy listen. It is consistently dark and driving, offering no respite at all. The drums barely stop until ‘Dead Heat’, three quarters of the way through and even then it’s only momentary. It is, however, just enough time to inhale before the impressive final section that sees the duo nail their sound into three slices of near perfection that culminates in the most vibrant track on the record; ‘No Sound’. It’s an outstanding end to an excellent album. With a serious live presence earning them much praise at home and overseas and a debut record that serves only to further enhance their growing reputation, Thread Pulls are a band going places.