Album Review: Thursday - 'No Devolución'

1 May 2011 | 6:48 pm | Staff Writer

An absolute triumph - the best album of 2011 so far.

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New Jersey’s Thursday have returned with their sixth full-length album "No Devolución," and it is undeniably their masterpiece. "No Devolución" may seem like quite a departure from their earlier sound, but underneath are still all the typical Thursday traits. Geoff Rickly’s perfectly flawed vocals, thick guitars, powerfully slow-paced drums and incredibly affecting lyrics. "No Devolución" is a triumph - a captivating array of deep, introspective songs that will implant themselves into your mind and tear at your heartstrings. Polishing the coarse edges of earlier Thursday material, this is beautifully experimental, atmospheric rock. A stunning album from one of emo’s greatest bands.

Opener "Fast to the End" is powerful - fast-paced drums layered under melodious guitar and smooth, soaring vocals. This leads into "No Answers," the album’s best track and quite simply a perfect song. Unforgettably moving, with impeccable chord progressions through every bridge and chorus. The gorgeous, pure emotion in vocalist Geoff Rickly’s voice is never more evident than in this track. It’s impossible to listen to this song without being completely drawn in and affected on every emotional level. Follower "A Darker Forest" is somber and snare-heavy, with a bittersweet mood of conflict and tension amongst its buzzing guitars. Open quotes is grungy yet melodious, with its punchy choruses of ’you got a taste for the candy contracts/ and that’s why you kiss your wife with a saccharin sweet smile’, and irresistibly smooth progressions meshed with a light piano riff. "Past and Future Ruins" starts smoothly paced and melodious, before leading into its frantic, chaotic chorus. "Sparks Against the Sun" is so starkly emotive, while still keeping elements of darkness and heaviness. The whole album is just a seamless balance of heavy power and melody, flowing flawlessly from start to finish.

Eight-minute long closer "Stay True" ends the album as powerfully as it began. Slow paced drums and leisurely guitar under perfect croons of ‘stay true’, rising gradually in energy to a powerful, heavy crescendo of heartfelt screams by the end of the track. As the track fades out you are left engaged, moved and dying for more.

While this may not be exactly what older fans are expecting, this is without doubt the definitive Thursday album. The band have exceeded the quality of everything they have created within their career, crafting such an ambitiously progressive album, and coming out on top. This takes Thursday’s distinctive sound and blends it with dreamy, atmospheric soundscapes to create something mind-blowing.

Quite simply, this album is perfect. Beautifully emotive and engaging, with the perfect balance of emotion and luscious, dark energy. There’s not a forgettable track on "No Devolución," exhibiting Thursday’s flair for crafting dark, enchanting emo-rock melodies. Its pure, stark emotion makes for a somewhat cathartic experience, and it is hard not to find yourself completely lost in the album. An incredible album that I can hardly fault, and undoubtedly the best release of 2011 so far.

1. Fast To The End
2. No Answers
3. A Darker Forest
4. Sparks Against The Sun
5. Open Quotes
6. Past And Future Ruins
7. Magnets Caught In A Metal Heart
8. Empty Glass
9. A Gun In The First Act
10. Millimeter
11. Turnpike Divides
12. Stay True