Thrice has always been a band full of surprises, with each album sounding radically different from the one before it. Just when you think you have their sound pinned down and figured out, they find a way to go above and beyond your expectations. While their bold shifts in style may have alienated a handful of fans, if you’ve stuck around over the last decade it’s something to marvel at. Their early work is more punk while Vheissu takes an experimental turn. And then there’s The Alchemy Index, a rather lofty project that in my opinion is a true showcase of the band’s talent and one of my favorites. Beggars just didn’t do it for me and seemed rather forgettable, so I was really excited to see what the band would come up with next.
Major/Minor not only met my expectations but exceeded them. It feels like a natural follow up of all their releases to date and they may have finally settled into a comfortable sound. “Settling” and “comfortable” can be negative descriptors when it comes to bands and new albums, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth in this case. This album is cohesive and strong and is an excellent culmination of all their albums thus far. Thrice has found a sound they like and are going steam ahead with it. Better get on the train before you’re left behind.
“Yellow Belly” is a heavy, grungy opener and I can’t get enough of it. What a great way to start an album. Tell me your head isn’t bobbing and I’ll have to call you a liar. Lead singer Dustin Kensrue’s gritty vocals command attention and right off the bat it’s intensity from here on out. The grunge theme manifests itself throughout the album, particularly on “Blinded” and “Cataracts.” We get a taste of their softer side in the first half of “Call it in the Air” which is reminscent of their experiments with Air and Water of The Alchemy Index and it finishes strong and dark with nods to Fire. “Anthology” by far is the real gem of this album. It’s completely different from what we’ve heard from Thrice before as it has clear emo guitars and a post-rock feel. “Disarmed” closes the album nicely on a calmer note with choir-like vocals and melancholy guitars fading into silence. Clocking in at forty-eight minutes with most songs in the five to six minute range, it sounds like a dense piece of work, but it flies by once you put those headphones on.
Thrice seems to have found their sound and I dig it. With a soft spot in my heart for The Alchemy Index and a nostalgic spot for Artist in the Ambulance, I can definitely find room for Major/Minor‘s stellar achievements in sound.
1. Yellow Belly
5. Call It In The Air
6. Treading Paper
8. Words In The Water
9. Listen Through Me