The Rock Fairy Album Club: Nothing But Thieves – Broken Machine

Welcome to The Rock Fairy Album Club where every week I’ll suggest an album for you all to listen to then throughout the week, you’ll have a natter in my Facebook group about the album and what you think of it. Then I’ll pop everything together in a nice shiny article like this for us to share our thoughts with the world. Similar to book clubs, just with a rock and roll edge! A new album will be chosen every week. Some albums will be new releases, some may have been out for a little while. To join in with The Rock Fairy’s Album Club, head over to The Rock Fairy’s Backstage Pass group here

“Broken Machine” is the second album from Essex rockers Nothing But Thieves and I chose this album as I felt it was one many of the rockers I know may not have listened to as it does have slightly more indie leanings.

This is not my normal type of music. I usually listen to raw vocals and heavy riffs. This was soft, clean and fluid. I found myself singing along to Broken Machine and tapping my foot. Amsterdam had a Killers feel to it. It’s good to listen to something different. I liked it.

Wendy Jones

I live with mental health issues and whilst this album isn’t a concept album, the main lyrical themes are around mental health issues which lead singer Conor Mason has openly spoken about. I was personally able to identify with a lot of the songs which refer to feeling broken and self medicating amongst other things.

A great album. A real mix of tracks and some perfect chill out songs on here.

Cheryl Collie

Conor wrote an open letter in the Independent when the album was released about some of the issues he battles with which I think is well worth a read here

A right mix for me. A bit Florence & Machine, The Killers. Loving it.

Jill Fraser
Stunning orchestral version of Broken Machine, the title track of the album

Well crafted songs, I have to say. Production is clear and modern and the singer has a great voice, soulful and heart felt.

Graeme McDonald

“Soda” was the first track I heard from this album as it randomly came up on my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify. I was instantly hooked. It was like Jeff Buckley had joined the Pixies and created a wonderful baby! The lyrics “I don’t want to be myself, it’s making me so unwell” were an absolute punch in the heart for me. I think those are words that many people can identify with and for me, living is a daily battle. I say that with no drama or exaggeration, it’s just a reality of living with the mental health conditions I have that I’m slowly learning to accept. To know that someone else was experiencing those same feelings and had created something so beautiful out of them was really comforting for me.

Hypnotic bass lines and quite relaxing in my world. The second half of the album is superb.

The slower tracks excel later on the album, Amsterdam/Soda/Get Better, are stand out & suits the lighter rock sound. I definitely prefer the softer vocals, as there’s chill out potential with the bass line working well. (Hell Yeah acoustic without drums is very engaging)

Derek Beecroft

“Particles” is a song on the album I often go back to. I deliberately haven’t delved into the exact meaning of the song as I often like to interpret things my own way. For me, this is about someone realising that their way of self medication isn’t working and perhaps it’s time to see a doctor. I personally have fought this battle for several years and it’s only in the last year I have entered a long term treatment programme. Medication is terrifying for me. I don’t judge anyone who chooses to take medication to manage a mental health condition, it’s just not a personal choice I’m comfortable with. I am now taking it whilst I focus on recovery with a view to it being a short term thing. The lyric “Doctor please, I can’t switch off” made me absolutely bawl my eyes out. It’s just such a desperate plea and one I found myself making earlier this year.

In short, this album for me is like therapy and the first time I listened to it all the way through, it was a really cathartic experience. Music has such amazing power and whatever battles or demons you may be facing, it can really support you. This album is so much more than just an album to me. Whilst it may not be for everyone, I can highly recommend it if you are fond of strong lyrics and if you are perhaps struggling with a few things mentally.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, please reach out for help. It will be one of the best things you ever do. Trust me. The Samaritans are a great resource to start you off and are completely confidential. You don’t even have to reveal your identity to them. Contact them here

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