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Greenthief

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‘If big riffing acts like Muse and Silversun Pickups appeal, check these guys out.’ - Richard Kingsmill, triple j/////// From a spark to a revolution, Greenthief is a 3-piece alternative rock band that has crashed the indie scenester party with a unique blend of psychedelic rock. Spreading their word with recent frequent trips up and down the East coast of Australia, the band has broken sound barriers and state lines while enchanting audiences with a sound akin to a lovechild of Jeff Buckley and Trent Reznor.///////In June 2011, Greenthief was selected to be the Triple J featured unearthed artist of the week. ///////In the short amount of time since the inception of the new EP (June 2011), Retribution has already made waves on the scene with the first single 'Salad Days' already gaining national airplay on triple J as well as the film clip receiving national broadcasting on Rage ABC. ///////Another track 'Vultures' was nominated as a finalist in the Queensland Music Awards. Greenthief’s debut EP, Anicca- saw single 'Plea for Sanctuary' picking up regular radio play throughout the country as well as their film clip receiving strong airplay on Rage ABC.Greenthief’s growing reputation is a tribute to the confidence and tightness of their wild and passionate live show, one which has seen them cement a dedicated following in the band’s home city of Brisbane. Currently involved with both independent and joint touring ventures regionally and nationally throughout, Greenthief have played alongside some of Australia’s finest homegrown talent such as Children Collide and Numbers Radio.///////Greenthief is currently touring their brand new EP titled Retribution recorded by legendary English producer • Steve James (Sex Pistols, The Jam). The EP was recorded at world renowned Rockinghorse Studios (Byron Bay) and mastered by Tim Young of the Metropolis Mastering Group (Bjork, Placebo).///////'If their music were a date movie it would be Iron Man in that there is the boom and explosion to satisfy the chest beating alpha male and the smooth timely one liners from Robert Downey to satisfy the ladies.' -Sharon Friel (Faster and Louder)Greenthief: Julian Schweitzer, Steve Tyssen, Tom Abbott

Information
Media
    Awards
    • Rage Top 50 Videos of 2011

    • 2010 Queensland Music Awards (high commended - rock catg) 'Plea for Sanctuary'

    • 2011 Queensland Music Awards (finalist - heavy catg) 'Vultures'

    Press
    • Black Velvet Mag - Retribution Review

      Greenthief are an experimental alt-rock three piece from Australia led by Julian Schweitzer and completed by Steve Tyssen and Tom Abott. There is a slightly intellectual approach, with an exploration of idea of sanity in an insane world (‘Sanity), remain true to youthful idealism (‘Salad Days’), and a somewhat surreal look at the triggering of revolution (title track ‘Retribution’), all tinged with psychedelic sound. It’s not an east EP to get, really, it doesn’t grab you instantly, but perseverance pays dividends. ‘Retribution’ is angry and surprisingly heavy in contrast with the trippie nostalgia of ‘Salad Days’ where Schweitzer’s occasional falsetto adds to a feel of unreality. This EP is definitely not going to appeal to everyone, but if you’re in the marked for an experiment it’s worth a listen.Publication: Black Velvet MagDate:
    • GREENTHIEF ‘RETRIBUTION’ (INDEPENDENT/TSM SLW PROMOTIONS)

      It’s always hard to tell which band will be the next big thing, because who knows it might just be this Aussie band called GREENTHIEF, whom sound modern, experimental, very retro-rocking and ready for the big European Summer Festivals. During the first song of their mini-EP ‘Retribution’ I really thought this was a female fronted band, but this 3-piece band really has a male singer (JULIAN SCHWEITZER), who also happens to play guitar. Anyway, the band combines all sorts of influences, sometimes mixing elements of ARCADE FIRE, ALKELINO TRIO, KAISER CHIEFS, THE KILLERS, FOO FIGHTERS with some high-pitched squaks by the singer and even adding some THE BEATLES during the chorus in a song like “Salad days”, while most of the big fat groovy guitar riffs come straight outta the 1970s Classic Rockbook. The result is something that will be adored by today’s modern rock society. More info: www.greenthief.com (Points: 8.2 out of 10)Publication: www.strutter.8m.comDate:
    • Live Review - The Zoo

      This past Thursday at iconic live music venue The Zoo a host of talented Aussie bands rocked wildly into the quiet winters night. While each of the bands were noteworthy and Tinian's Boy were the headliners the focus of this article will be alternative three piece Greenthief. Greenthief are a fairly new band to hit the scene having been together for 18 months. They have not wasted any time already releasing an EP, a film clip, touring nationally and planning an album. With a wrap sheet like that it is safe to assume that these guys mean business having fused musical excellence with raw determination to get where they are. This level of commitment is reflected in their live performance with stylised vocals and faultless instrumentation. In a word Greenthief's live show could be described as tight. There was not a beat that was missed, a note that was wrong or a tone that was unintentional. Drummer Steve Tyssen, although new to the band was on point keeping the energy high and the sound large while Greenthief veteran Julian Schweitzer wailed on his guitar with effortless precision. The highlight of the show would have to be _Plea for Sanctuary_. There is a quality to this song that captures your attention and dances loudly through your ears. It is no surprise then that this was the first choice for the bands first film clip. Looking across the audience it was clear that a lot of people were hearing Greenthief for the first time. There was an apprehension in the way people initially consumed the performance but it was not long before people were drawn in by lilting tones juxtaposed by fierce rock beats. There were a few die hard fans who rocked out and head banged in a way that was reminiscent of times gone by. Times when people moshed, crowds screamed and the sign of a good concert was being covered in the sweat and hair of a fellow patron donning a black t-shirt. Now this is not to say that Greenthief are in anyway similar to a Metallica tribute band, it is merely stating that they are a point of difference in an scene flooded with bands who wear a uniform of indie sameness. Greenthief's music is heavy in nature but is made accessible to a wide audience with an array of guitar tones and melodic riffs. There are a few carefully considered points of space in the songs which are what set them apart from just another heavy rock band. If their music were a date movie it would be Iron Man in that there is the the boom and explosion to satisfy the chest beating alpha male and the smooth timely one liners from Robert Downey to satisfy the ladies. Greenthief are a band that are still early in their career but have the work ethic and care to fill the alternative rock void that exists in mainstream music in Australia.Publication: Faster Louder (Sharon Friel)Date:
    • Retribution EP review (Power Play Mag)

      Alternative rock is probably one of the most vague, misconstrued attempts at putting together a genre. Greenthief tag themselves ‘alt’, so how on earth does that relate to their sound
    • Greenthief Retribution Review (Room Thirteen UK)

      
3 is the magic number

The Australian rock scene, due in part to its distance from cultural centres such as London and New York, doesn't seem so slavishly beholden to musical trends and the search for the next big thing. An admirable trait or to some the reason why bands like Wolfmother and Jet keep finding success and also why mullets are still fairly prevalent in the land of kangaroos. 

In Greenthief's case there merely seems to be a desire to get together and jam like its 1969 and forget the world much like their countrymen Tame Impala did to critical acclaim on their record "Innerspeaker". "Retribution" isn't as good as that record but it's getting there with some nuggets of real quality amongst the 25 minutes of dude-rock.

The title track is a memorable slice of riff rock built on an ominous bassline and complemented with shards of lead guitar. The pace changing lysergic rock of 'Vultures' and the immense undulating vistas of the eight minute closer 'Mayan Dawn' are undoubted highlights as Greenthief find their feet floating in space.

On the downside some of the material is not particularly distinctive with opener 'Sanity' essaying stadium Muse and nineties Radiohead simultaneously employing both a galloping, jerky guitar riff with a hushed, breathless vocal. 'Salad Days' continues the Muse worship albeit with a walloping riff and frantic arrangement. Often the best way to experience this kind of groove infused rock is on the live stage not on CD (that's certainly the case with Muse) so maybe less import should be put on the mis-steps on "Retribution" especially when no-one buys albums anymore (apparently).

The thrill of the shimmering chords, fuzzed up riffs and syncopated drumming is unfortunately topped off with the whiny vocals of a skinny hipster fella. Like those bands where there's a divisive vocalist - Billy Corgan for the Pumpkins, Perry Farrell at the good ship Jane's Addiction to name but two - the songs here aren't completely ruined and in fact, Julian Schweitzer's larynx becomes less invasive with every spin of "Retribution" especially when he avoids straining his voice and employs a bit of grit instead. The aforementioned alt-legends are doubly worth mentioning when it comes to the music on "Retribution" being as it is a loose, twenty years removed, take on the groovier parts of the alt-rock canon. Greenthief play with scant regard for 'the shock of the new' and it serves them well.Publication: Room Thirteen (UK)
    • Greenthief Retribution EP REVIEW

      Band : Greenthief
Album title : Retribution
Label : Own release
Distributor : /
Release date : 07/06/2011
Release : CD Oh...my...God...and now for something completely different (nah, nót the Monty Python's Flying Circus, you silly buggers!) and exhilarating...from the South East of Australia...the incomparable Greenthief, introducing itself with the following story, taken without alterations from (www.) myspace.com/greenthief. “Little people know about the secret cult that has involved the likes of Dali Lama, Pope John Paul II, Tom Cruise and Dan Brown to name a few, in fact not even the Mossad know about the existence of this clandestine cult that has played such an important role in shaping history as we know it today. To fully understand its origins, one has to search back to the Ming dynasty where our Chinese ancestors bagan what is known as Greenthief.
The cult developed as a secret organisation that was called upon during culturally oppressive regimes. When Emperor Hongwu took Chinese office in 1368, he shook his head towards non-Taoist music. It was here that Lin Len Yang established Green Thief in reaction to this repressive government, holding weekly jam sessions in his sound proof hut in the local village. The jam session attracted the village most reputable session musicians and soon became producing some of China's most important and influential music today. Unfortunately word got out to Hongwu's guards about Yang's secret jam sessions and he sent his guards disguised as musicians to destroy the Greenthief cult. Though Hongwu's guards were successful, what they didn't know was that Yang was absent from that session and fled.
Word soon spread and Greenthief cults began popping up all over the place. Whether it was during the Church's oppressive regime of medieval Europe, Nazi Germany, Sadam's Iraq, Commi's in general, Greenthief has always existed in opposition towards the musical oppression of its generation.
With the Indie Invasion well in hand, the world seeks Greenthief like never before.” Well, nice story, innit mates? Nice, because even if the historical cited may be incorrect people have most probably been singing revolutionary songs since the days that they were able to fabricate musical instruments of their own. I mean, give the people a reason and they'll grumble, right? And what more effective way of bonding could there be than songs, and dance? Well, be that as it may, we've gotta come back to contemporary history, more specifically to that of the SE Australian band Greenthief, which counts as its members singer/ guitarist Julian Schweitzer (ooh...sounds like this guy's family has European origins), bassist Tom Abbot (this one's were almost certainly from Britain), and drummer Maui Manu (euh...Hawaiian? Or would he have actual Aboriginal ancestry?). Anyway, none of my normal info sources had a clue of when exactly this threesome first came into being, but from the above story we are to conclude the trio started their activities as a reaction to what they felt to be an oppressive invasion from Indie music in their music scene, right? Greenthief recorded its debut 6-track EP Annicain the first half of 2009, releasing it before the end of the year...and immediately got praise from the in-crowd and selected media. Playing gigs up and down the coast of SE Australia, the trio also put in a short tour in more western parts of Australia, spreading the word on Greenthief beyond their natural habitat. And with the promotion deal they struck with Two Side Moon for their new EP (aka Mini-album) Retribution (recorded by English producer Steve James of Sex Pistols and The Jam fame at the well-known Byron Bay based Rockinghorse Studios, and mastered by Tim Young of the Metropolis Mastering Group, known from previous interaction with the likes of Bjork and Placebo among others), Greenthief ads a completely new share of fans to those already conquered in Ozland...because that, you see, is something quite inevitable with the type of irresistible music the guys play! How so? Well, one only needs listen to what's posted at the band's own site (www.) greenthief.com, or even better to what's posted at their MySpace pace (address already mentioned above) to find that these guys base their Alternative Indie Rock (yeah...in spite of what they said above, thàt scene is hit as primal target, you know!?) on a very interesting Progressive Rock with sensitive intensities which sees the band alternate between calmer and heavier passages without ever falling into the entrapments of popular genre crossings with Grunge or other down-tuned Metal sub-genres. On top, Julian has a truly nice semi-high vocal pitch, which he bends and folds effortlessly (and which he only fleetingly – for instance in a sort sentence during the EP's first song “Sanity”, at the end of the album's title track, a short passage halfway through “Vultures” - uses in a more aggressive form), and the slightly moaning quality of which goes so typically well in the Indie Rock genre. With the drums and bass as solid foundation, Julian also twists and uses his guitar as a multi-task instrument, either fondling it with the greatest of care in the calmer moments, or using a little more aggression...but always with a great sense for melodic repetition, making for a dream-away factor for any people listening to the music. Oh yeah...I dó love what these guys do here...to the point of loitering around the house for several days while listening to the material over and over before actually sitting down to start on this review. You know, this is the stuff of dreams people like myself stay in this dreary business (well business, I've been doin' this on a voluntary basis since 1985...and that seems like only yesterday to me) of music journalism for...the occasional exceptional band that stands out from everything else in their genre. How could you be surprised to find Retribution on top of my “Best Albums Of 2001” lists, eh? Good goin' mates! Can' wait t'ear back from ye soon enuff! 98/100Publication: Concrete WebDate:
    • Greenthief - 'Retribution' (Uber Rock)

      Every once in a while in the day to day life of a reviewer comes along a disc that stands out from the throng of prog rock, blues rock or general whatever rock. A band that makes your ears prick up and realise why you got into music in the first place. The search for something new and exciting, something a bit different from the norm, a bit left of centre and, dare I say, a little bit original. Greenthief happens to be one of these bands. Hailing from their native Brisbane, this Australian three piece have previously released just one EP, 'Annica', in 2009 which was well received on the local scene and, along with constant touring of the East Coast of Australia, has gained them a dedicated following. Here we have a brand new five track EP, 'Retribution', that goes a long way to gaining them a wider audience. The title of opening track 'Sanity' could not be further from the truth, coming on immediately like early Muse with a fuzzed up bass line, mixed with Silversun Pickups' knack of a dreamy, spacey tune, it draws the listener in with its instant hook. 'Salad Days', with its regimental drums, is just fantastic, reminding me of a more tripped out Little Barrie (and if you don't know that name you should!). It has a strong Muse-like bass line courtesy of Tom Abbot who shines on this EP, as does the drum work of Maui Manu. The vocals of Julian Schweitzer soar into the stratosphere as does his guitar playing. The title track starts like a lullaby that lulls you into a false sense of security as you are hit with the full band assault, in the solo the guitars sound like razors, so sharp they could cut you.
'Vultures' is a more psychedelic affair, Schwietzer sounding remarkably like Billy Corgan here, screaming like his life depends on it one moment, the next sweet and subdued. There are little bits here and there that just add charm and depth, working on the basis that less is more there are little, mad time changes and stops, the guitars dampened one minute then full on the next.
Closing things up is the quite remarkable 'Mayan Dawn', 8 minutes and 40 seconds of beauty in epic proportions. It's sparse, lots of space, the drums are fantastic, the guitars placed very subtle, just to add texture in places. The guitar solo is something else, sounding like it was recorded in space then beamed underwater for your listening pleasure - it bends notes in unknown directions; hats off Mr. Schwietzer, top stuff indeed! Greenthief have a way of creating music using space and dynamics, with clever arrangements and a top notch production job courtesy of legendary producer Steve James, it's a joy to experience. Yes, it's progressive and experimental in places but not in a self indulgent, over the top way. 'Retribution' has the power to make lesser bands just give up for good, believe it.Publication: Uber Rock (UK)
    • Retribution Review (rave mag)

      (click above to see article)Publication: Rave Magazine
    • Retribution review (Scene Mag)

      Greenthief burst onto the Brisbane music scene in 2009 brandishing a clear message: that the vast regime of popular indie music was in need of some counter-culture. Their first EP, ‘Anicca’, was an experiment in psychedelic rock, which earned them rave reviews and lofty comparisons to Radiohead. While shy of the bulls eye, such comparisons created anticipation for their next release. ‘Retribution’ has delivered, still calling for revolution while delving deeper into progressive ideas. However the trio isn’t preaching for us to overthrow the establishment, the driving theme behind their music has more to do with leaving your preconceptions at the door. Dark and gritty, their second EP is laden with big riffs and drawn-out, aching vocal hooks - an epic and unique sound that will solidify the band’s growing reputation. If his music is “a book of the revolution he would lead”, as songwriter Julian Schweitzer sings on the searing title track, then ‘Retribution’ is an excellent opening chapter.-Jerath HeadPublication: Scene Mag

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