Friday, September 23, 2011

Thrice - "Major/Minor" review

Well I am going to try writing my first album review, I thought about doing it for any of the three great albums that came out last week which I might post some quick thoughts on later still. But before I get sidetracked, what I am really here to ramble on about for this post is the seventh studio album by Orange County rockers Thrice called 'Major/Minor'. Now if you didn't know Thrice has been in the ring as my favorite band since their fourth experimental post-hardcore rock record 'Vheissu'. While I enjoyed their early efforts as an OC hardcore band it wasn't until they left that familiar sound of shredding and screaming and experimented into a more atmospheric genre defying rock band that my fandom really took hold. And they really proved that with their next release 'The Alchemy Index' which is four separate EP's that just blew my mind with how great their were. They followed that up with an album that was a much more straightforward album, 'Beggars' that could fit in with any indie-rockers record collection. That brings us to the current record which has keeps the vibe of the last record but also feels much bigger and rocks way harder then their last few efforts from start to finish. As I listen to it for already probably the 20th odd time since coming out last Tuesday I think I have enough of a handle on this album to talk about it.

It opens up with 'Yellow Belly' that brought back the baritone guitar from the Fire EP with a dirtier sound then used on those songs, really just a hard, dirty, grimy tune all around that setups up the harder tone of this record well. I don't want to talk about every song so I am going to move on to 'Blur' just because it kicks off with such a blast from the past with such a high tempo if not the all-out shredding of their first three albums that it is great to hear them kick it up a notch like that again. Lastly on a single song basis I have to talk about 'Anthology' by far my favorite track on the album. It is a great representation of what Thrice's sound is. Their is a great beautiful melody to the track all the while having a heavy vibe to it. And the riffs by Teppei Teranishi on guitar are a soaring and beautiful star of the track.

So Riley Breckenridge on the drums puts in a superb effort that really stuck out to me while listening. He really is a driving force to this album on drums and it is his best work behind the kit on any of their albums in my opinion. As always Dustin Kensrue as a singer and lyricist continue to shine. I love how his voice have matured over the years in this band and he really gets after it in this album. Their is a real passionate weight and grittyness to his singing and he really howls with rage throughout the album. Couple that with his wonderful lyrics like this from the opening track.
You were built for blessing but you only make them bleed, but you don’t care, you don’t care.
And bruises are but shadows of the blackness that you breathe but you don’t care, you don’t care.
The light that's left inside their eyes is darkened day by day but you don’t care, you don’t care.
The presence pulls the color from the world til all is grey
but you don’t care, you don’t, you don’t, you don’t.
Those along with the rest of the lyrics throughout the record give for a much darker tone in their sound on this effort. Another element that drives home the darker feel is the overall strong songwriting and instrumentation throughout 'Major/Minor. Their songs have a great atmosphere to them that really know how to let a song breathe when needed or at other times have a dense hard rocking sound that never feels cluttered. Their really isn't an element of this band that I do not enjoy, which brought about another stellar effort with this release. The three tracks that are highlights in particular for me are 'Yellow Belly', 'Call It In The Air', and 'Anthology'. The third of which I have embedded from soundcloud. Let me know what you think...

Thrice - Anthology by Vagrant Records

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