For Fans Of
If you’re one of those Thrice
fans (and I use the term loosely) that’s still pissing and moaning
about the band’s lack of punk beats and guitar noodling then you can
fuck right off. This is the third official release since the Californian
four-piece took the progressive path, so I think it’s safe to they
aren’t going to be writing “Deadbolt” version two any time soon!
Picking up where 2007’s Fire
& Water masterpiece left off, The Alchemy Index Volume III
& IV contains traces of the band’s heaviest elements, all
the while showcasing an introspective and stripped back approach to
song writing, one that is sure to win over a new army of listeners.
“Broken Lungs” leads off the Air disc, a slowly building track that sees Dustin gently
singing over shimmering guitars and driving bass lines that finally
culminate in a series of crashing drums and discordant riffs. Although
it doesn’t have the same intensity as the first number, “The Sky
Is Falling” is captivating in its own way, the effect soaked guitars
perfectly complimenting the vocal melodies, while “A Song For Milly
Michaelson” allows Dustin to take centre stage without having
to fight his talented band for the spotlight.
This may sound like a somewhat
strange description, but “Daedalus” has something of a bar room
swagger to it, which makes for a stark contrast when placed next to
the emotive “As The Crow Flies” and “Silver Wings”.
Moving on to the Earth
disc, and the tunes on offer have more in common with Dustin Kensrue’s solo material than anything else in the Thrice back catalogue. “Moving
Mountains” is the perfect backing track to drowning your sorrows,
although it sounds more hopeful than desperate, while the piano driven
“Digging My Own Grave” is as evocative as anything else the band
has penned throughout their illustrious career.
Earth Isn’t Humming” are accompanied by some of Teppei’s
inventive guitar work to date, the song itself sounding like the result
of a substance assisted jam session. The haunting “The Lion And The
Wolf” follows on nicely with its piano and vocal combination and again,
the folk tendencies of Dustin’s solo work permeates through
“Come All You Weary”, which leaves the majestic “Child Of Dust”
to wrap things up.
Overall The Alchemy Index Volume
III and IV isn’t a strong as its predecessor, but that’s not
to say it isn’t a fantastic record. Rather than beat us around the
head with thick riffs and swirling, psychedelic passages, Thrice
have crafted an album that manages to knock the listener for six in
a completely different way. Another essential release from one of our
generation’s most talented bands.
1. Broken Lungs
2. The Sky Is Falling
3. A Song For Milly Michaelson
5. As The Crow Flies
6. Silver Wings