This year has been really sad, hasn’t it. I’m not even asking, it was entirely rhetorical. Well, it’s been good in terms of new music and I’m quite afraid to compile my albums of the year at some point in the next few weeks. What really makes me sad is the amount of bands who called it a day or who are playing final shows this year, Thrice being on of those bands.
Thrice were right at the forefront of, well, musicianship. So many bands take influence from Thrice and as their sound progressed and evolved, so did we as listeners. It was such an in depth ride with plenty of variety to bring in new listers even now during their hiatus; albums that really will stand the test of time, even if the band didn’t get as much recognition as their fans know they clearly deserved.
As their compilation release ‘Anthology’ hits the shelves we decided to reminisce about which of their releases was best. It’s a tough job to even pick a sole release but we’ve given it our best shot. Mikey Brown will be standing ground for ‘Vheissu’ whilst Sean Reid is taking ‘Beggars’ with him until the very end. Thrice will always be winners, but for this ‘Versus’ feature you decide who wins.
‘Vheissu’ (by Mikey Brown)
I remember about 3 years ago when I was really getting into Thrice, around the release of Beggars. I’d heard ‘All The World Is Mad’ and it blew my mind. I already knew ‘Cold Cash, Colder Hearts’ and ‘The Artist In The Ambulance’ but this new track really took a hold of me.
Fast forward about 6 months and my flatmates realises that all he’s been hearing from my room is Thrice. Every morning, midday, afternoon and evening. Even night if I ventured up late, lost into this ever inspiring musical world. He told me to listen to ‘Vheissu’ saying a friend of ours had told him about it when it had been released. Now I knew the album but I hadn’t given it a proper listen. When I finally opened up and let ‘Vheissu’ in it was something else.
To this day it’s become such an empowering album for myself and I know for many Thrice fans. It brings out this raw , contained fury and aggression that was utilised and captured from ‘The Artist In The Ambulance’, but in a different way. It wasn’t all about shouting coarse vocals from the very vocal chords in Dustin’s throat; it was about choosing those exact words, sung sometimes delicately or passionately, with elegance and grace. Oh, and those harmonies, highlighting every syllable and imagery that would stencil onto your mind.
This album, for me, also captures what melody is all about. The heavy side of Thrice still came through, but evolved from ‘The Artist In The Ambulance’. It stepped up its game and could easily take you for a mighty ride, but when those melodies hit, they hit. They’re not always there as clearly as you may think, but they could be in the vocals, guitar or even bass. They’re used at the most vital and pivotal moments and can really change the idea of a song around for an almost optimistic outlook, despite the power that rages deep within.
And if that wasn’t even, this progression brought on a diversity as well. Tracks like ‘Atlantic’ and ‘Red Sky’ showcase more delicate moments that Thrice would later explore specifically within ‘The Alchemy Index’ , using electronics in the ‘Water’ and with other instrumentation in ‘Air’. And of course from a more alternative guitar viewpoint with ‘Beggars’ and ‘Major/Minor’.
For me, ‘Vheissu’ has captured so many emotions, but not as a cliché journalist expression to highlight how good an album is. I genuinely do feel so much when I listen to this album and it’s this expression and outpour from Thrice that I soak up and breathe in. I feel like I can take in everything around me in a positive light. I feel like I can concentrate on the hardest of tasks that lie in front of me. I feel like I can take on the world with this album in my ears.
Thrice have captured so much with ‘Vheissu’ that it they’ve created an art; it’s an art form to even be able to capture and deliver exactly what they have. And I think that no matter how many times I rack my brain for the right lexical choices, orders of words or progression between paragraphs, I’ll never quite do this album justice. But with ‘Vheissu’ on hand I’ll always be inspired to give out so much more.
Thrice, thank you.
‘Beggars’ (by Sean Reid)
Before ‘Beggars’ I wasn’t really into Thrice. They were just one of those bands that were part of that “scene” and never really grabbed me entirely. That all changed with ‘Beggars’ for a number of reasons. First of it was musically a step up from what I had heard from their previous material, the quartet had progressed and developed their sound which was concise and focused, which benefited my second point; its structure.
Over the course of the 10 songs on ‘Beggars’, Thrice showed their capability of crafting near-perfect songs that flowed seamlessly together. From the rugged openers ‘All The World Is Mad’ and ‘The Weight’ to the poignant and beautiful closing title track, Thrice stitched together a record that was fuelled by the bands passion for making the best music possible and a collection of songs that were thoroughly compelling.
It’s clear that there is a collectiveness and unity from Thrice, as the bands musicianship is tight and there’s a strong understanding throughout, as Dustin Kensrue’s vocals yearn and connect with the listener especially on tracks like ‘In Exile’ and ‘Wood and Wire,’ creating an intimate, intense atmosphere that easily leaves you stunned. Whilst as a whole the bands sound became more appreciatively layered and textured.
As a collective work, ‘Beggars’ is an outstanding achievement for any band, and in my opinion, for a band like Thrice it changed people’s impression of them as they’ve matured, progressed and reached their creative peak on ‘Beggars’ yet simultaneously they don’t abandon their origins and ideas with the end result being a unique, concise record.
‘Anthology’ by Thrice is out on the 30th October.
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