Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: Thrice - Major/Minor

Full album stream here.

Let me be up front and frank.  Major/Minor is incredible.  Thrice have managed to assimilate all of the strengths of their previous efforts in order to create an album that truly resonates.  It is the post-hardcore rock of Vheissu and experimental rock of The Alchemy Index combined with the rawness of Beggars.  I particularly felt a certain sense of "real" in this album.  Nothing is overproduced.  There are no gimmicks.  This is just a simple, but solid rock album.  Even Dustin Kensrue's voice sounds like he was just recording live, which is amazing in itself.  Really, Major/Minor, is the natural next step in the progression of Thrice.  I feel confident (99%) that this album will be my album of the year once January hits.

Major/Minor is definitely not nearly as heavy as Vheissu, which might disappoint those who were hoping they would return to that sound.  But damn, does this album groove.  Teppei Teranishi's brilliantly crafted guitar-riffs combined with Eddie Breckenridge's syncopated bass line and Riley Breckenridge's most impressive drum-work to date really drive each and every song, complimenting Kensrue's moody lyrics.  And, rest assured, the dark, bleak undertones of their previous efforts and themes of a corrupt society are still prominent in Major/Minor.

The album starts off with a solid one-two punch in the form of "Yellow Belly" and "Promises".  There's no sweeping introduction here.  "Yellow Belly" blasts off right at the get-go.  The album slowly transitions from hard-rockers to a more chill and relaxed sound as the listener progresses through each track.  The dark rocker, "Call It in the Air", will most likely become a fan favorite (it's definitely my favorite) as it is one of the catchiest songs on the album.  I found myself singing along with Kensrue as he howls "call it in the air...".  This is followed by "Treading Paper", which starts with Kensrue singing of despair over minimalistic guitars, but builds to an amazing melodic power-house.  "Words in the Water" and "Listen Through Me" definitely pull a more chill vibe, almost as if they belong with the songs that comprise The Alchemy Index: Water EP.  The album is finally brought to a sweeping close, with the dark and emotional "Disarmed".

Now click repeat, and listen again. At least, that's what I did.

Major/Minor is one of the best releases of the year.  If not, the best.  It improves on the grooves and rawness of Beggars, and is a natural fit in the progression of the band's sound.   I may even be so bold as to say that this album is the best effort by Thrice to date.  I urge everyone to check this album out!  Definitely have a listen and let me know what you think.

You can purchase Major/Minor on iTunes and Amazon.

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