Company of Thieves formed when vocalist Genevieve Schatz and guitarist Marc Walloch launched the coed indie rock group after striking up an early friendship in Chicago. Mike Ortiz was later brought aboard to handle drum du... more »ties, and the trio created a body of work reflecting today's exciting, if not uncertain times in the eclectic sound of Ordinary Riches. The album moves effortlessly from the seemingly jaunty, piano-led "In Passing" and the catchy pop tones of "Oscar Wilde" to the arena-ready sing-along chorus of "New Letters" and the Jonny Greenwood-ish guitar figures on "Old Letters."« less
Company of Thieves formed when vocalist Genevieve Schatz and guitarist Marc Walloch launched the coed indie rock group after striking up an early friendship in Chicago. Mike Ortiz was later brought aboard to handle drum duties, and the trio created a body of work reflecting today's exciting, if not uncertain times in the eclectic sound of Ordinary Riches. The album moves effortlessly from the seemingly jaunty, piano-led "In Passing" and the catchy pop tones of "Oscar Wilde" to the arena-ready sing-along chorus of "New Letters" and the Jonny Greenwood-ish guitar figures on "Old Letters."
Danielle Lane | Horseshoe, North Carolina | 07/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Company of Thieves are Genevieve Schatz (vocals), Marc Walloch (guitars) & Mike Ortiz (drums) and on this CD they are backed by various other musicians. The title, "Ordinary Riches" was taken from an Oscar Wilde line "Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you." I learned this as they put the quote on the last page of the CD insert. I'm quoting it here because I believe it to be true.
Something else I believe to be true is that this is one fine Rock and Roll band and this CD on the Wind Up label is one heck of a record. There isn't a bad tune on it. Genevieve has a fresh voice and delivers the songs with a kind of hard driving soul that sends chills up your spine, especially on the anti-war song "Quiet on the Front".
I've had this CD for a couple months now, have played it in my car, have loaded it into iTunes, have it on my iPod, my iPhone too. I can't get enough of this band."
First Musical Surprise of 2009!
James Davis | Newark, DE | 01/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So I came upon this band by accident and was really impressed! They remind me of Fiona Apple with guitars, a mix of classic rock with mid 80's alternative bands. At times, the lead singer sounds like the girl from Paramore but her lyrics have so much substance. Great songwriting musically as well- lots of unexpected twists and turns! I'm now a fan!"
Blindsided by a Company of Thieves
C. P. Toennies | LAUSA | 11/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My days of seeking the 'next new and amazing band that nobody has heard of' are starting to whither away as I realize the purchasing-power deficit that 30 year olds wield against the predominantly teeny-bopper driven Music Industry. However, much like love happening when you stop trying to find it or car keys reappearing after you've given up looking, finding Company of Thieves came into my life by a brilliant stroke of fortuity that was neither planned, intended, nor expected.
I went to The Knitting Factory in Hollywood one night to see a friend's band playing second on a roster of some four other bands. I didn't care who the headliners were, nor did I intend to wait for them to even grace the stage. I was there to support my friends.
After their set, we stuck around, hanging out by the 'merch' (stole that from Wilco) and finishing our cocktails. Lo and behold, a tiny sprite of a woman took the stage, backed by a cadre of what appeared to be your typical, backing musicians. I paid little attention, focusing instead on picking out a tee shirt for my friend's band to shamelessly promote them around Los Angeles.
After a song or two into Company of Thieves' set, I became confused. Having relegated them to background noise, flirting instead with random merchandise hawkers, I couldn't believe that the sprite I'd seen on stage earlier was the very same vocalist transfixing the entire audience. I'd dismissed her as a sound engineer or something. Surely that diminutive girl couldn't belt such fierce notes? However, as most biases are - my prejudices were soon and decidedly dispelled.
Genevieve Schatz is a revelation. Her voice is at one-time Bjork-like, without the kitschy, Icelandic pretense and at another a riveting and commanding Fiona Apple who (happily) doesn't expend all of her lyrics trying to prove how 'different' or 'unloveable' she is. Her onstage performances are intense and focused, as well as unencumbered by fear of any kind. Fear clearly does not exist in Ms. Schatz's dojo.
You can tell she gives it her all with every performance, never seeming to mind if she looks 'cool' while doing it. And yet - that kind of comfort and self-confidence is exactly what makes her so damned cool.
The band, and not to give them short shrift here, are equally intense and focused on nailing their performances. No offense to the guys, who do their jobs expertly and are clearly not just stage-fillers. Rather, they seem attuned to what their front-woman is doing, completely absorbed in the organic performance on a given night. It's just hard to pay attention to them while that Siren is on stage singing, unless of course, you're bound to a mast like Odysseus.
Luckily for those of you not able to catch them in concert, their debut CD - "Ordinary Riches" - masterfully captures a fair representation of what Company of Thieves is capable of. Whether it's their first single, "Oscar Wilde" with its insanely catchy chorus (or the acoustic version also found on the CD) or the strings-dominated and haunting "Fire Song", you too will know that Company of Thieves is capable of stealing your heart...
Especially if you're not looking..."
A nicely produced and written album.
Anthony Pantliano | New York State | 07/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Company of Thieves' album Ordinary Riches is a nicely constructed, and well-written album. It's performed well, both instrumentally and vocally, with the female singer having an ethereal quality. The vocals range from soft and slow to more intense and quicker. There is good depth and complexity to the instruments as well. The tracks vary nicely in tempo, but they start to sound a bit monotonous and similar after a while.
Ordinary Riches doesn't sound like something produced just to climb up the charts, but rather to be enjoyed for what it is, regardless of how mainstream it becomes. It's labeled as rock, but it's not really a hard or soft rock. It falls somewhere in between. The sound is reminiscent of One Republic or The Fray, to my ear at least (my preferred genre is Country, to give you an idea of my experience with Rock groups). The lyrics are meaningful and show attention to getting a message across as opposed to fitting the song into a certain time frame.
All in all...a good rock album for those who don't rock too hard, a nice production overall."
Great Debut for a Band on the Rise
Erik J. Malvick | Davis, CA | 07/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ordinary Riches is an album by an up and coming band that show flashes of brilliance. Vocalist, Genevieve Schatz, and the supporting band have put together an album that incorporates elements reminiscent of many moods, genres, and artists, yet they succeed in creating something all their own. Listen to the vocals and you'll here hints of Fiona Apple and Bjork. The music and lyrics come across as a combo of pop, rock, indie and emo. Fortunately, they don't lean heavily on any one sound, and in the end create an album that holds up well for a first release.
As for the album... I was not terribly impressed on the first go around. The lyrics show fantastic elements, especially in the early going, but the vocals and band sometimes feel a bit disjointed for a few early tracks. Old Letters is a fantastic song that fits well with the parts of the album I enjoy most, but then the songs that many people have liked; Oscar Wilde, Quiet on the Front, and Pressure just don't grab me. There isn't anything necessarily wrong with the songs. The songs are perhaps the best in terms of lyrical quality, but I just don't feel that the songs transition from verse to chorus very well melodically, and at times I feel like the band clashes with Genevieve's vocals. This is as opposed to old letters and many of the later songs where the band works better as a whole.
In fact, starting with Around the Block, the album all of a sudden trends into a collective work that works very well. The inconsistency I heard in those 3 previous tracks is gone. The lyrics aren't quite as good, but it is made up for with verses, choruses, bridges that mesh well together. There are obvious pop influences in these tracks without the loss in quality that often accompanies stereotypical pop music. Rather, the music and melodies are brighter, and the band works very well together complementing Genevieve. I particularly like the songs "Even in the Dark" and "Under the Umbrella". These two songs have completely different tempos, yet they flow fantastically together with lyrics that are still quite good. The rest of the album keeps with the pop-like songs, with a flow not unlike the best rock-albums out there.
I really think it is the finish of this album that shows the potential this band has and combined with the lyrical quality of all the tracks makes this a solid 4 star effort from a band that should ultimately put out a 5 star album in the future. Some might even find this that 5 star effort. In only takes a couple of listens to hear the depth that elevates this album to that status. "