Thursday
Full Collapse


4.5
superb

Review

by Michael Roberts USER (99 Reviews)
December 21st, 2006 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


What actually constitutes a classic record? As in from an artists perspective what would you aim to achieve in order to produce and create a classic album that will be memorable to future generations? Thursday’s Full Collapse really does not invent a new genre, but more so reminds us all why we listen to a certain one. It has stood the test of the new millennium and still stands tall as a bold comparison. Many of these modern day acts seem to fit the mold of a “Thursday clone.” Than again who wouldn’t want to try to create their own post hardcore record which introduced the major media to the genre? I might be going out on a bit of a ramble here but I guarantee any band you see with screaming on MTV doesn’t exist or have popularity without this album (I’m looking at you Hawthorne Heights and The Used). Am I blaming those two acts? Not at all, as this is obviously one of the most influential bands and records since the commencement of the 21st century. Would you care to know what this craze is about? Than look no further than Full Collapse.

It is very rare that a band can have such an eclectic sound such as Thursday and manage to pull it off successfully darn near every time. A good portion of this is due to vocalist Geoff Rickley. His beautiful melodic singing is almost an acquired taste in some cases. He has a tendency to show his range and while some might be turned away, other listeners will be intrigued. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he has a whine, in some cases he comes close but I feel as though it is his unique tone which can be recognized from miles away. This gorgeous singing is often layered and paired with his raw and gut wrenching screaming. Simply put the vocal layers done here are absolutely phenomenal. They perfectly capture the two emotions and bring together some incredible moments. In terms of atmosphere and mood, both guitar players are more than capable of satisfaction. Their clean parts usually come out during the verse as they play some incredible progressions and melodies. Of course they can bring out the distortion, usually mixing up some octave and power chords for the chorus. However, they do not restrict themselves to chords by any stretch of imagination. They are not afraid at all to drop some riffs when the situation calls for it. When the situation calls for it is a key phrase because they always seem to know how to perfectly accent a passage. Surprisingly and going against a more recent trend, bass plays a large role here. With the clean guitars in some verses, bass can actually dominate these sections. It has a nice burly tone and actually plays some complex and octave based lines. With the instruments and vocals playing a large role you might have guessed there is not a lot left for the drummer. However, he still keeps up the variety and the beats never spoil the mood. He is also very capable of using the entire kit and shows so throughout most of the record. With all of these diverse elements there is no question with how much potential variety the group can put into their music. The key points of the record include the overall atmosphere, the lyrics, the vocals, and the general flow of the album.

The atmosphere Intense, raw, smoothing, and relaxing are all traits usually not found on the same record. On Full Collapse there are SONGS where all of these are present. The first song off the record Understanding in a Car Crash proves this statement to be true. It opens with an undeniably energetic riff section before tranquil verse comes in. This is one of the more bass dominated verses as it leads the passage about the soft guitars. The chorus gets a bit heavier brining back the intro riff and the liveliness. All of the transitions here are so precisely done as there is no awkwardness what so ever. Eventually a more moderate riff comes out over some screaming and singing layered vocals providing for an immense bridge/outro which ends the opener. The eclectic sounds do not stop there. Autobiography of a Nation opens with a very peaceful clean guitar progression. The effect on it makes the passage sound almost dream like. Some delicate drums come over it and this all last about a minute before things explode. Once more the dual vocals add to the craze. However, here a new element occurs. A bit of dissonance courtesy of the guitarists comes out during the heavier sections. Once more the transition is made as a more smoothing passage lands upon us. While no section of this song is blistering fast by any stretch of imagination, there are so many exclusive emotions and moods captured throughout the song which help it stick out. In terms of heaviness Cross Out The Eyes is certainly one of the more intense tracks here. Heaviness might not even be the more accurate word but regardless of that, there is just so much raw energy felt here. Opening in unique fashion with a drum fill, the verse sounds very calm and almost poppy in some spots. That is until the chorus hits with the screaming in the background. Once more a diverse section shows its face as the verse gets a bit switched up with a different riff. Despite the switch it still fits terrifically and serves as an appropriate transition into the chorus. An extremely memorable bridge comes out as some clean guitar comes out over a soft drum roll. The vocals switch styles up a lot until things explode into a modified chorus. Once more the screaming and singing mix works phenomenally. The last few bars of the song are just screaming, no instruments. It is just so raw, right and absolutely perfect. Don’t settle for the modern day knock offs, Cross Out The Eyes is the authentic track. Switching gears, it seems so often that an unfortunate trend occurs where an act has incredible musicianship yet cannot pull out more than mediocre lyrics. Than again would you expect Thursday to follow a trend or to start a new one?

Lyrics The music itself has plenty of diversity in it. Following that path, the lyrics are no exception. The only major thing the lyrics share in common is consistency. Each song seems to be written with a massive amount of thought and purpose. Every intended emotion soars out of these words and hits listeners in full force regardless of the subject. One major key aspect of the lyrics is how they can appeal to so many listeners. Certain lines from Understanding in a Car Crash suggest the necessity of letting go of childhood tendencies. Lines like Time to let this pass/the time it takes, the time it takes to let go/time runs through our veins. and I don't want to feel this way forever imply that to me. However, these lyrics can certain be interpreted as the feelings from a failing relationship. Yet another strong point of the lyrics is revealed, as they are at times left a tad open ended for the listener to interpret. There are other instances when they are clean cut to the point with the subject. Autobiography of a Nation is a prime example as it is certainly a politically driven song. However, when they do their political songs, they don’t have this ‘F*ck Bush’ attitude. Rather they take the approach and viewpoint of an average Joe, normal citizen, you and me kind of guy. Lines like All the dreams they had we kill/still we all sleep sound tonight/is this what you wanted to hear? are almost frighteningly political in terms of how it is scary to think of circumstances like that. More lines such as Yeah, the TV tells us everything we need to know/and this scene is painting in all the fashions of the moment/and history is all the same almost suggest citizens to rise up, seek truth and to attempt something new. One of the last few songs Standing on the Edge of Summer seems to use summer as a metaphor for a relationship hanging by a thread. Lines in the first verse Standing on the edge/casting lots to set me up before you knock me down/off the summer's edge and drown me paint a picture of a failing relationship. In the chorus a gambling metaphor is used in an absolutely genius way. I feel the need to post the entire thing.

We're betting on our own lives, making up for all time we lost.
In this house of cards we're all holding hearts and spades
One breath, one step could knock it all down
but you lead with your eyes and you give it away
Decide, design to cut from the clouds
When the people you love get lost in the shuffle,
When you leave, you leave nothing but broken hearts
You let it go and then you fold.


The last two lines really hit a home run as the lyrical reference is executed with perfection. Hopefully those lyrical exerts show that despite that Thursday is constantly grouped into the screamo/emo genre they do not solely rely on writing lyrics about subjects found in that genre. What they do rely on however is a powerful vocalist to deliver these wonderfully written lyrics.

Geoff Rickely is the name associated with Thursday. Not just because he is the singer but because of his singing. Geoff is what draws people closer to or further away from the band. Some believe his voice to be a bit nasally and whiney. At first listen I shared these view points. After a few more I realized just how incredible his singing was. It was almost an acquired taste like fine wine. Needless to say once you get used to the vocals they are truly a treat. He is able to belt out his shinning lyrics in incredible form. The delivery is always full of emotion and character as he puts his signature style on every word. Sometimes his delivery style almost makes the songs seem like a story, which is another astonishing trait he bears. Geoff’s voice often times is filled with an angry tone, much like a raged citizen in discontent. Despite this state he manages to maintain and incorporate a sense of melody into it, making it both pleasurable and unique. All throughout the record he lays down his signature vocal style and it truly is one of the crown jewels of the record. His voice can be recognized from a mile away due to its diversity. With that being said there could not be someone more up to the task for vocals on this record. Despite his unique vocal tone, he fits the music absolutely perfectly. His calmer ‘story telling’ reminiscent style fits fantastically with some of the softer more atmospheric verses while his emotional filled and projected yells come in handy during the louder choruses. Than there is the completely different style in the screaming as it brings out more of a raw feel to the music. The screaming certainly gives the music a bit of an edge as it is mainly used in the bridges or layered in various sections atop of the singing. As previously stated the screaming is sometimes a balls out yell, giving passages of the music a raw feeling. It really contrasts nicely with the singing yet when the two are brought together things sound excellent. Simply put vocals on both ends of this album shine and are significant aspects. Oh whoops, I forgot to put examples of these moments when they are good, tracks 2-11. So to recap so far, there are breathtaking instrumentals, wonderfully crafted lyrics, and superbly delivered vocals. With all of this in play what else is needed?

Album flow is unfortunately an overlooked aspect of a record. Yet it seems that many complain artists cannot put together a complete record. Some band’s have a tendency to put all of their hot single tracks towards the beginning causing the rest of the album to drag. Others just do not have enough memorable songs to fill up a record. Than there is the moodiness of certain sections as portions of an album can come off as too depressing, too dark, or even too cheerful in some cases. Leave it up to Thursday to show the rest how it is done. There are plenty of diverse subjects in play here yet the record never seems to favor one. Despite the political nature of some songs, it never becomes overly preachy. Even though there are various songs discussing relationship issues, this album never becomes incredibly depressing. There is an appropriate balance which keeps Full Collapse at an emotional equilibrium. The same can be said about the overall sound. Not once is the listener left craving a heavy track. While there are some softer pieces in play, they manage to appropriately mix them in. At the same time the listener is never left submitting as a result of being pummeled mercilessly from constant heard pumping tracks. There is a fair amount of diversity here in the songs yet filler is not found. The closest thing to filler would be Concealer. It is not a bad song at all and does keep the record moving fluently but it still seems a bit weaker than the majority of the record. There are two tracks here which aren’t ‘real’ songs, as tracks 1 and 12 serve as an intro and outro respectively. However, they both provide a purpose and accomplish there intended goal. A0001 does an appropriate job of introducing Understanding in a Car Crash. It might not be necessary but it does not drag due to its short length making minimal room for complaints. After a five and a half minute epic closing track in How Long is the Night? listeners need a bit of a cool down to digest what has just been heard. Thankfully i1100 does just that as it is a mere 100 second long smoothing piece with clean guitars and whispered vocals. It is an absolutely perfect way to wrap up an incredible record in Full Collapse. Wow, this seems absolutely wonderful. Hopefully this record won’t get overlooked and sit in a pile of dust. Quite the opposite thankfully occurred.

The impact of this record is absolutely stunning. I always like to think of Thursday along with Glassjaw and Thrice as some of the essential post hardcore acts. They all contributed to paving the road to a door. The door represents a boundary that has almost held back the genre. I do believe with this record Thursday broke down the door. After this record the major media became a bit more accepting of this genre, for better or for worse. Only 5 years later it seems that just about every newer band in the genre/scene somehow gets linked back and in turn compared to Thursday. There is good reason, as they seem to cover an unreasonable amount of ground and progress it forward with this record. Full Collapse is absolutely brilliant and from an artist’s perspective one of the most inspiring records I have ever heard. In terms of impact on the music world, this record definitely deserves classic status.

So what was next for the group after the record? Well for one was a lot more publicity. Hello world this is Thursday, aren’t they neat? Another was a major label in Island Records. As hard as this might be to believe this was originally released on Victory Records in the days when the label still had some dignity. Record labels aside, this opened up the future for an ever so deserving band. With their 2001 release, Thursday changed the music world forever and practically rewrote the modern scene. Just about all of the elements in play work throughout Full Collapse. The instruments are grand, the are lyrics terrific in writing and in their various subjects, the vocals are phenomenal in delivery, and the overall flow of the album is remarkable. All of these ingredients are what shape a memorable and significant record and that is exactly what Full Collapse is. In terms of impact this record is indeed a classic. Yet for some odd reason I just can’t seem to completely justify a 5. Regardless of that, this record deserves a spot in just about every music lover’s collection.

Final Rating: As strong as a 4.5/5 can be!



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ToWhatEnd
December 21st 2006


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

At long last my 50th review. NO IT WASN'T THRICE! I hope this doesn't suck.

Neoteric
December 21st 2006


3243 Comments


It's a bit too long, maybe because i'm a fan of shorter reviews.

ToWhatEnd
December 21st 2006


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AHH balls, I was worried about that :upset:

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2006


17943 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really can't get into this album.

Angmar
December 21st 2006


2689 Comments


well i didnt think it was too long. Good job congrats on the 50.

foreverendeared
December 21st 2006


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review, i really enjoyed the style of this review. Athough you seem to make out Thursday to be gods beyond genre. it is an excellent album and a great band

Intransit
December 21st 2006


2797 Comments


why didn't you review a band I cared about like oh I dunno THRICE or something/

regardless, good review even if it was a bit long and cheers on the 50

cbmartinez
December 21st 2006


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Very good review. My favorite album ever. Defines adolescence for me. "Understanding In A Car Crash" should be the anthem of our generation.

slep
December 21st 2006


1604 Comments


Good review and congrats on the 50th.

Understanding In a Crash
December 22nd 2006


427 Comments


I'm with Chris on this.

Actually just check out the username... Nice 50th.

godLike
December 22nd 2006


126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't like them very much but this record is solid.
Nice review, even if I disagree with a lot you've said.

ToWhatEnd
December 24th 2006


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Understanding In A Car Crash" should be the anthem of our generation.
Yes! I'm definitely in favor of this. Thanks for the feedback all.

lunchforthesky
January 15th 2007


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Another outstanding review, best album ive ever heard.



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