Thursday, September 8, 2011

Album Review: Thrice - Major/Minor

It's almost preposterous how good Thrice continue to be. Really, it's just ludicrous that after eight albums, Thrice are still at the top of their game, churning out record after record, song after song, with the same energy and fervor as when they were younger. Starting with their sophomore effort, The Illusion of Safety, Thrice have gone from a passionate, energetic post-hardcore outfit, to a more thoughtful alt-rock group whose material is both experimental and comfortingly familiar. Regardless of what sound the band employs, the result is almost always incredible. This is also the case with the band's most recent album, Major/Minor,a record which sees the band exploiting everything from their past, whilst making something amazingly fresh and exhilarating.

Major/Minor is simply phenomenal, to say the least. It's classic Thrice. It's heavy yet melodic, and features all the incredible instrumentation one would come to expect from the band. In terms of sound, it has more in common with their fourth album, Vheissu than any other record to date. Remember how mind-bogglingly solid and consistent that album was? Well, Major/Minor shares that too. In fact, it's rather difficult to point out anything egregiously wrong with Major/Minor. Each song is better than the last, all tied together with a fantastic production that brings out the absolute best of the band.

As well as being derivative of Vheissu, Major/Minor ports over some of the more "bluesy" sounds of Thrice's last album, Beggars. Interestingly, those influences found on their last album fare much better here, as the injection of energy makes everything much more intriguing and enjoyable. That isn't to say that Beggars was boring, but that little something that was missing is definitely in tact here, and the album is all the better for it.

There isn't much to say about the band really, as anyone who's heard Thrice understand that they are truly a group of talented guys. Front man Dustin Kensrue is one of the band's largest assets. He not only provides instrumental work and lyrics, but vocals as well. And honestly, there aren't many vocalists out there with the same emotive tone and energetic delivery. He's amazingly varied as well, gruffly yelling in one song, then crooning huskily in another. While he's not really altered his vocals in years, it's hard to argue that he even needs to. Not to be out done, Teppei Teranishi provides quite a lot to Major/Minor as well. His always fascinating guitar work is present, proving to be just as important as Kensrue's vocals. Together, the two comprise much of what makes Thrice, Thrice. However, it's the band as a whole that really impresses. Thrice is one of those rare bands that feels more like a band rather than a collective of musicians. They mesh absolutely perfectly, giving off the feeling like the members are perfectly in tuned with one another.

Major/Minor is a marvel, and one of the best records to come out this year. This one comes heavily recommended, regardless of whether one is a fan of the band or not. It's beautiful, evocative, impassioned, and stunningly enjoyable. Thrice have done it again.


"Yellow Belly"
"Call It in the Air"
"Treading Paper"
"Words in the Water"
"Listen Through Me"

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