I Thought I Told You Twice: Bike Thiefs’ “Lean Into It”

If you’ve been seeking a band that supports dogs with anxiety and demurs at the consumerist principle of destination weddings, you probably need to meet Bike Thiefs.

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Fundamentally, I insist that you need to have your bike stolen to really understand life–fortunately, this three piece out of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada isn’t so dire. Conversational, yes. Sardonic, sure. Sincere, probably.

“Just last week my sister went out and bought a new Dyson.

About goddamn time I felt some excitement…”

Their latest album Lean Into It, shows the band growing into some new sonic textures. Punk is a vast ethos that is limited to the safety pin aesthetic for most people. Bike Thiefs already proved with their last records, These Things Happen All The Time and Bloated, that you didn’t need three chords or a mohawk for punk to work. With this record, their sound is crisper–less screaming and more jeering. But still, as my tattoo artist told me, close enough for punk rock.

Which is good. From the punchy ‘Destination Wedding’–complete with the music video’s most honest portrayal of a Monopoly game–to the twang-ish swing of ‘Melatonin’, there’s a lot in the record’s seventeen minutes.

“You know me so well.

How low is your bottom?

And I tried all my best

to be transparent, militant, eye contact, intimate…”

They claim their new approach is conversational, but I find it almost literary. When I Google ‘literary music’ though, there are more references to existing literature & poetry appearing in music. Which I find strange, because that’s just gilding the lily. That’s not being literary–that’s just using literature.

Bob Dylan obviously won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tokyo Police Club is a modern contender for me. Other than that, the bands I’ve been listening to most these days work with sound best…their vocals act as just another instrument. I guess I’m making myself out to have an unreliable opinion in the matter (and I certainly do, as with most things) (My wife informs me that my penis ensures I can hold unqualified opinions; I don’t understand why she rolls her eyes when she says it).

Thankfully, the music speaks for itself. My favourite song, ‘Cosmetic Damages’, is a poignant story of a minor fender bender with an asshole:

“Can’t you see I’ve got places to be?

I’ve got goals, man…

My Hyundai Sonata, my high blood pressure,

my left turn…

Now and I see

that your wife

is shaken and crying.

It’s my god-given right

to stay here and fight

and I fight good.

 

I’ve had nothing to drink.”

I don’t want to spend more  time explaining why you should listen than it would take you to listen. It’s been like…two to five minutes. You could be up to a third done by now.

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