Thrice, the Irvine, California band has come a long way from where they started. Originally thriving in a niche community of thrash and scream fans, they’ve matured and transformed into a band for the ages.
Comprised of Dustin Kensrue (vocals/guitar), Teppei Teranishi (guitar), and brothers Riley (drums) and Eddie (bass) Breckenridge.
Their 2007 concept album The Alchemy Index is nothing short of genius: There are four EPs, two on each disc, Fire & Water as well as Wind & Earth. The final song for each element is written in the form of a sonnet, depicting the relationship of man with each of the particular elements. Each of these songs is in iambic pentameter, with a concluding rhyming couplet. These final couplets also contain the same vocal melody and chord progression as each other, although they are in different keys.
This is the sort of band that isn’t afraid to evolve and test new depths of creativity and to this date, they haven’t whiffed on any of these attempts.
Major/Minor starts off in a fashion that you’d expect it to with “Yellow Belly”
Raw and driving it harkens back to a lot of the early work that thrust Thrice into the spotlight.
Songs like “Cataracts” and “Treading Paper” aren’t songs built for mainstream success, but you can tell that the passion that went into writing the songs and playing them is abundant with all the band members. Each instrument and the vocals are meaningful to the song’s progression and quirkiness.
The first change-up on the album is “Call It In The Air” and truly is a catch-your-breath moment but, just like the rest of the songs on the album, makes you feel a little uneasy. It’s not the brilliance and calmness of tracks like “Red Sky” or “Atlantic” off of “Vheissu.” This album is full of sinister undertones.
But for me, the song that really takes me back to the beginning of when I started listening to Thrice (“Identity Crisis”) is the song “Blur.” It’s fast, it’s hard, it’s relentless, and unforgiving. Then it just stops, it’s calm and just when you least expect it, it picks back up.
Perhaps this album saves the best for last though with the songs “Anthology” and “Disarmed.” The rhythm and percussion is so well done on “Anthology” that you can tell the drummer and bass player are brothers. It’s so tight, so perfect, and just flat out fun to listen to. It feels like it brings you up to date with where they were, what they used to play and where they are now. It feels like it borrows something from a song off of every album up until now. It’s their greatest hits rolled into one song. It’s a “thanks for listening” for the fans who’ve been there for a decade now.
Then “Disarmed” comes at you in the same way “Red Sky” did on “Vheissu.” It’s melodious and charming. It finishes off a great record the right way. Leaving you calm and relaxed and contemplative of what you just listened to. They somehow keep evolving, without ever really changing anything, and this is what makes album after album critically and commercially successful.
To me, this album is a question of faith. The calmness and the darkness wrapped up in chaos and energy. There’s a certain pain to this album that most of us who have endured it can see and relate to.