Album Reviews

Thrice – Palms (Epitaph)

David Boyle

Thrice is a pure American hard rock band that was founded way back in 1998 in Irvine, California. It’s had some breaks along the way, but the line up is still the same, consisting of frontman Dustin Kensrue, guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge, and drummer Riley Breckenridge. 

Their sound is a mixture of post hardcore, screamo and pop with progressive rock.  Their influences range from the Deftones, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Jawbreaker to name a few, but their sound is more familiar than their influences I suspect.

The 10-track album really has so many layers to it, and a range of styles incorporated into each song, that it’s hard to put your finger on any one particular genre. There are ballads and, in contrast, hard rock and screaming vocals that punch the air as they go. To be honest it is a little like a box of new Roses chocolates: much is familiar but you are still not quite sure what you are going to get next.

This is the case with the opening track Only Us.

It starts off with pulsing synthesisers that have an 80s feel but then slowly drops back to a driving bass. There are clean vocals that slowly build to a peak, only then to drop down the cliff with some classic guitar riffs and screaming vocals of angst before the closing line of “it’s only us” that fades in the closing seconds of the song.

The Grey leaves nothing to the imagination. Everything starts off with a frantic pace with guitars bass, drums, and vocals all competing for space and the spotlight. It has elements of Stone Temple Pilots and Nine Inch Nails and the speed is maintained throughout, with no real winner at the end.

The Dark slows things down a little with its throbbing bass and drums. An anthem styled track, it’s not hard to imagine it being played in a stadium with the audience signing along to the chorus.  It has a nice finish as well with the entire band and backing singers all joining in to take the track out with the message “we are not going to sit in the dark anymore”.  A great finish to one of the best songs on the album.

The momentum continues with Just Breathe.  It’s a track that sounds very familiar and flows well, following on from the previous tracks.  Less production here as well to slow things to the basic elements and is aptly named.

Getting to the middle of the album, the pace slows down to a ballad of sorts with Everything Belongs and My Soul, which gives you a chance to enjoy the delicate lyrics and vocals.

The album genuinely provides balance and carries a vibe that, with more listens, turns into a heartbeat of sorts. It is clear there is a method to their madness and, while despair shines through strongly, hope is also not that far away. This is highlighted in the song Blood On Blood that somehow fits in harps along the way as we all fight a little with the angels and demons we have on our shoulders.

The closing track, Beyond The Pines, takes everything down a notch and, while looking ahead, the old analogy of sometimes looking back to help go forward is not lost here and is a nice way to close the album.

Not everyone’s cup of tea I suspect but Thrice are well worth a listen, especially to the uninitiated, and, who knows, you might have just found a new band to tell your mates about - especially if you like to wear a black tee-shirt as part of your Saturday night attire.

 

 

 

 

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Released: 14 Sep 2018

Written By: David Boyle David’s day job is head of sales and marketing at Mint Asset Management. It doesn’t sound very rock and roll does it? But don’t be put off, he is passionate about music and has been nearly all his life. Better known as Boylee, he can’t sing a note in tune, remember a complete song lyric, nor play an instrument of any sort, but he does have an eye-opening knowledge of modern music and is never shy to share it with his friends and peers.

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