Thieves and Assassins - Thieves and Assassins [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)

Thieves and Assassins

Thieves and Assassins [7 inch] (2006)

Iron Pier

Long Island's Thieves and Assassins (featuring ex-members of This Is Hell, Heads vs. Breakers, the Backup Plan among others) come in from way out in right field with their brand of Dave Smalley-esque melodic punk/hardcore. With a potent blend of Dag Nasty and Turning Point influences tangling with the worn threads of a band like Hot Water Music (seriously!), these guys go above and beyond the usual realm of songwriting for music with clear hardcore roots.

There's four songs to this 7" and each retains a distinctive style, from the somber, guitar-driven "New Song #2" (reminds me a bit of Crime in Stereo) to the speedy, drum-bashing, anthem-bearing closer "Swear to God." Thieves and Assassins draw often from the well of inspiration and it's fun to pick out all the different traces of other bands that make up this band's patchwork of sounds. In the end though, these guys stand on their own pegs of originality and the strong lead vocals alone give cause for repeat listens.

Thieves impress lyrically as well, and one line from the opener, "The Death on the City Pavement" stands out: "Honesty is strength protecting every single thing you need for living in a space between myths and facts, and every day's another chance to break free."

For those with vinyl collecting aspirations, the 7" comes in an orange/black splatter that Iron Pier affectionately refers to as "Garfield the cat colored vinyl." I think that's a safe description and it clashes admirably with the black and blue colored insert.

Thieves and Assassins may have a name that brings to mind tough guys, or dual-skilled criminals, but their music is all straight from the heart and mind, and it's well worth your time.