Thursday, the five piece band from New Jersey, America, have been a permanent footnote in the brief history of what fan boys have coined post hardcore, with their emotional music striking a chord with people since the release of their (official) debut album ‘Full Collapse‘. I myself have been a fan since that album and they have maintained their place as one of my favourite bands til this day (which is what, ten years on?).
Their latest album ‘No Devolucion‘ is Thursday‘s second for their new label Epitaph and the follow up to what I deemed to be the highly disappointing ‘Common Existence‘, an album full of anti-Bush political punk sensabilities that to myself, sounded like a band desperately trying to fit in with their label buddies. It was the sound of a middle aged band going through that typical crisis of trying to win back the fans of the debut album after the brilliant, but poorly received by die-hard fans, experimental album that was ‘A City By The Light Divided‘.
I’m happy to say that with Dave Fridmann at the helm of production for the third time running, that ‘No Devolucion‘ sounds absolutely fantastic and unlike ‘Common Existence‘ which at times felt like it was continuously punching you in the face (aside from the fantastic indie sounding ‘Love Has Led Us Astray‘). ‘No Devolucion‘ sounds like it was made by a band who are comfortable with the fact that despite being lumped in a scene, they are very much alone in it, don’t fit in and are ready to embrace that by just being different.
‘No Answers‘ is Thursday‘s answer to everything on ‘A City By The Light Divided‘. The first single from the album is soaked in deep eighties style synths, low key lead guitar work that is bright and spacious, a glorious explosive chorus making for a great lead single. On ‘No Answers‘ Geoff Rickly is in a introspective mood with calm haunting vocals showing that he has definitely upped his game since the off key stylings of their debut album.
‘Millimeter‘ shows why Tim Payne is so important to Thursday, his dirty bass sound clicking perfect with the toms of the drums to create something original and off-beat, an upbeat dirty rock feel that we haven’t witnessed from Thursday before and perhaps won’t again.
‘Empty Glass‘ sees Thursday slow it right down, the focus on Geoff Rickly new found focused vocals as well as his as always harrowing thoughts on politics and stories of pain with Rickly softly howling “We’ll trade all our memories for forgetting”. It is here that you really understand why Thursday have maintained a fan base, with Rickly’s emotional pain felt clearly throughout.
Anyone that knows how much I love Thursday will probably just say that I am foaming at the mouth for this record simply because it is Thursday but to put it bluntly ‘Common Existence‘ didn’t even get to half of what I expect from the band. ‘No Devolucion‘ works because it’s a mature honest album, Rickly is still being unashamedly political but it’s more subtle than before, less preachy. ‘No Devolucion‘ also has somehow found a good combination between tempo’s and musical styles, often straying away from post-hardcore for a post-rock and even indie synth sound. It sounds like everyone has upped their game and from a song writing perspective Thursday have definitely managed to hone their craft and start writing some real competent chorus’.
No Thursday record is complete without drawbacks and for the unitiated Rickly’s voice will still be strange, if not bordering on unpleasant to listen to (even though I think it definitely works for Thursday), while many hardcore fans will start baiting the band saying that it’s no ‘Full Collapse‘ etc, but that’s the point, it isn’t meant to be. ‘No Devolucion‘ is a record made by a band that have grown vastly in the years they’ve been a band and if this record is anything to go by, Thursday are here to stay for a lot longer.