Blue Robot

Album Review: Thrice - Major/Minor

Posted by Ryan Kappy on 09/29 at 02:22 AM

Grade: A

Whenever you listen to a record, you are always anxious to hear what the first note will sound like from a guitar or how the vocals will sound. While you are listening, you hope the next track will be even better than the previous one. In the case of Irvine, California’s Thrice, that’s definitely true.

Consisting of Dustin Kensrue (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Teppei Teranishi (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Eddie Breckenridge (bass, keyboards, backing vocals) and Riley Breckinridge (drums), the band has been putting out full-length albums that showcase their post hardcore music. Albums such as Identity Crisis, The Illusion of Safety, and their major label debut The Artist in the Ambulance are prime examples. Then they released the more experimental Vheissu which showed a change of direction in their music. Later the band released the four EP collection entitled The Alchemy Index. Each EP in the collection had represented an element of the world, with volumes I and II representing Fire and Water, and volumes III and IV representing Air and Earth. The band went on to release the upbeat and raw recording Beggars where their songwriting on this album revolutionized the metal genre. Now, they have released their latest album, Major/Minor, which dives deeper into the musical progression of the band.

The album starts off with ‘Yellow Belly.’ It shows a kick starting riff from Teranishi under Kensrue’s shearing vocals that has a raw effect. For example, Kensrue yells out the last lines of the song “What mercy have they known? From you, from you?! To ask that it be shown. To you, to you?!” The music heads into the number ‘Promises’ that showcases the band performing their respective instruments to their fullest punctuated by a clean solo from Teranishi. This song has a theme of how divorce is treated in our society today with such lyrics as: “We say, on me you can depend, I will be there ‘till the end, though we will not bear the cross. Our word is so faint and feeble, broken by the slightest breeze or breath. Our hearts are so deceitful, sick and filled with lies that lead to death.”

The third track, ‘Blinded’ is a guitar driven track with a simple yet bendy introduction and an eerie echo riff from Teranishi that shows his dynamic guitar work. ‘Cataracts’ gives the introduction to bassist Eddie Breckinridge with his bouncy skill on the bass. This song has biblical references that are known to be features of the band’s lyrics. For example, Kensrue belts out in the pre-chorus: “The words you say are somehow lost on me, they die on deafened ears. When you open up your mouth to speak I hear but I can’t hear the words you say.” Lyrically, this song has the best written words on the album and Kensrue expresses them well. ‘Call It In The Air’ sums up the idea of how we must choose a side to any aspect of life as the last line says “Is it heads or tails? You can’t ignore it. You stand to win or lose everything.” ‘Treading Paper’ is the first song on the record to include full keyboards integrated to the song as heard on previous albums before breaking out into the full band.

Blur’ to me is my favorite track on the record. It is the loudest song and Thrice makes sure that the music is thrown into your face. The whole song incorporates the instrumentals Thrice is known for. It’s a throwback to their older records. ‘Words In The Water’ is the longest song on the album and it deserves to be because of its complexity of music and lyrics. The song starts with effects that could be found on The Alchemy Index forced into the main riff. The song deals with doubting with the faith you have for something as evoked by Kensrue, “standing knee-deep in cold water, swiftly moving. Somehow I knew I lost something.” ‘Listen Through Me’ starts off with a slow tempo arpeggio with Riley pounding on the drums to make the song have a grungy feel to the song.

Anthology’ speaks for itself in the title as it is sums up Thrice’s career. It pays homage to known songs they have recorded by picking through past lyrics. Kensrue does this process very diligently. The song itself has melodic yet hard riffs in the song as the band tries to make it the stand out track without trying to go too far from the vibe of the album. The last track, ‘Disarmed,’ is the last offering of Thrice. They incorporate polite melodies in their verses before exploding for one more epic chorus, then slowly fade out to the end.

Being a long time fan of the band and seeing their music progress with every release they have bestowed upon the music world, I can honestly say that Thrice has proven that they have longevity with Major/Minor. They have continued to grow with their lyrics and alternative sound in making a pure rock record. Thrice sure delivers, and I suggest this record to anyone. The album is available at amazon.com:

{name} Author: Ryan Kappy
Bio: Ryan Kappy is currently a senior majoring in Telecommunications and Economics. He enjoys listening to all types of music, playing guitar, watching and playing different sports, playing video games, and eating different types of food. His ideal type of music is alternative rock, pop punk, metalcore, and both hardcore and post-hardcore genres. His favorite bands include Blink-182, New Found Glory, Rise Against, Brand New, Thrice, and Bayside.

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