Thrice continue to create some of the most honest artistic expressions in modern rock with newest single, ‘Scavengers.’
Thrice are one of the few bands who’ve been able to come out of punk and post-hardcore and develop in an incredible way, breaching into new realms of rock and roll expressions over the last five years following their hiatus coming to an end. The reason you rarely, if ever, see lengthy debates among fans, critics or writers about which era is supposedly better or a tired “they should only play the old stuff” diatribe, is because Thrice were upfront with their fans from the word ‘go’ about wishing to change. From ‘Vheissu‘ (2005) and ‘The Alchemy Index‘ two-parter (2007, 2008) and beyond, they didn’t bullshit their audience. Instead, through their ever-changing albums, they signalled they weren’t staying the same and asked listeners to join them on that musical journey.
This is true of all of their albums over the last 16 years, including the fantastic 2018 effort, ‘Palms.’ Entering into their 11th album cycle, ‘Scavengers‘ (whose video dropped last Friday, a week after the original song went up, perhaps to make better or smarter use of potential revenue from views and streams) is a soul-searching, earth-moving rock composition about how intrinsically entwined two people’s lives are together. With one side fighting for the other, for their relationship as a whole, no matter what happens or how the other might be lead astray. This is represented through the metaphor of a seedy Eyes Wide Shut-esque film clip plot, in which a woman finds her partner (current or former, it doesn’t say, but ultimately isn’t important) amidst a strobe-light masked basement party, successfully pulling him out of that literal physical place/figurative state of mind. It’s a wholesome sentiment if you don’t think too hard about the weird underlying sex-cult imagery.
That’s the theme, and that’s the context, but what of the song itself? Thrice are in fine form, as always: carefully tuned performances and well-measured songwriting with something genuine to share via the words sung. There’s the crunchy bass tones, the fluid rhythm section brotherhood of bassist Eddie and drummer Riley Breckenridge (who really groove in the second verse), Dustin Kensrue’s voice continually ageing like a fine husky wine, how he scoops and elongates certain phrases, those huge resonant choruses, and the confident riff work from D-man and fellow guitarist Teppei Teranishi. It’s fucking good stuff! Then there are smaller details, like the mesmerising post-rock-tinged guitar-driven section that drifts in prior to the final chorus. It’s a refrain punctuated by loud electronic snare hits; a passage that feels like the present and old memories are all flooding into a singularity.
Thrice’s new ten-track record, ‘Horizons / East‘, releases September 17th and I’m insanely eager for it.