Almost a decade ago, Consider the Thief released the eponymous Signs and Wonders, a sleeper hit that drew comparisons to Thrice’s Alchemy Index. In 2012, the band teased a new album coming, though admitted to some obstacles from a lineup change. Silence.
Recently, producer Dryw Owens (the band’s frontman who has also produced for From Indian Lakes, among others) left a detailed post about the band’s end and how the new album was no longer going to happen – at least, not under the Consider the Thief moniker.
Enter Nuoro, a new project that features Owens as well as Sean O’Sullivan (also formerly of Consider the Thief). This time around, they’re accompanied by Miles Lehman and Daniel Blackburn. Their debut EP, In the Hills, was released only a few weeks ago – and the band is already working on a full-length.
In some respects, Nuoro’s sound does seem to work in some of the elements from Signs and Wonders; “Wire Game” feels the most familiar of all of the tracks, graced by Owens’ soft timbre. The sound is heavily electronic, but there’s a saxophone solo thrown in for good measure.
The rest of the EP deviates further from the Consider the Thief sound. That wouldn’t be necessarily problematic if not for the fact the band doesn’t seem to find cohesion with these tracks. Much of the EP is instrumental, striding between post-rock and chillwave. Multiple vocalists only complicates things more – with Owens and Lehman fronting separate tracks. There’s certainly potential here, but it feels like there are competing creative influences. Sometimes Nuoro borrows from Novo Amore; instants later, they’re paying respects to Washed Out.
Ultimately, In the Hills is not a true predecessor to Signs and Wonders; there are some common production elements, certainly, but almost a decade has passed and there’s a new core of musicians at play. It’d only make sense the sound would be varied. There’s a bit to enjoy here, but the EP fails to be truly satisfying on several levels. With that said, I’ll still excited to see what they’ll release next.