Thief River is essentially a reconfigured version of Rexway with longtime King Rat guitarist Mike Makkay and bassist Geoff Orwiler. In fact, Thief River essentially picks up where that band left off before parting ways a number of years back, seamlessly fusing the most anthemic moments of late-'80s pop metal with elements of outlaw country and a smattering of Social D's brand of SoCal rockabilly-infused punk. The resulting sound is unique to this particular batch of players. Led by Mike Mitchell's sturdy tenor, the quintet delivers a solid set of songs, including standout tracks "Nowhere," in which the band slows things down and Mitchell muses about a relationship gone sour, a place where "nowhere is better than here"; the Bic-flicking "Cricket Bows" (don't miss the mid-song Journey nod); and the soaring "Anarchy Road."
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