Thrice- Identity Crisis
I donít think I have ever tried so hard to love an album. Ever. Why? Because itís Thrice
. Thrice have quickly become on of my favorite bands since I have listened to Vheissu
and The Artist in the Ambulance
, two of my all-time favorite albums. Their music is catchy, hardcore, melodic and downright...beautiful. Lead singer Dustinís vocals are usually strong, and when he has to scream, it sounds great. Itís not like a desperation scream that makes it seem like heís going to burst a blood vessel in his throat; he doesnít have to try that hard. Lead guitarist Teppeiís guitar playing is nothing short of consistent. He doesnít use those generic power chords all the time, making him seem at least a bit more creative. He might even throw in a little guitar solo somewhere.
For the past two weeks, I have listened to hardly anything but Thrice, but for the last few days I have tried to get into this album. I tried to find the little things that can make someone fall in love with an album, but this time was different. I tried harder than I usually have to. I didnít know what was going on so I decided to review it to help me find out.
- Teppeiís guitar playing is very consistent in terms of complexity and catchiness. Heís not exactly Steve Vai, but he shows that he has some skill and speed, such as in the Phoenix Ignition
bridge, a few nice riffs in To What End
, the bridge of Unquestioned Answers
or the solo of In Your Hands
. He also has a fun little opening riff on T&C
, which is repeated throughout the song, and also a fast-paced and enjoyable solo.
- Teppei is also the background singer, and heís pretty damn good at that in almost every song. Notables are in the title song Identity Crisis
, the second verse, mainly, the end of In Your Hands
, and pretty much in all of Ultra Blue
. This is important clearly because it makes the songs more enjoyable and he supports Dustin really well.
- Dustinís lyrics are great almost everywhere. From the title track [Draw this darkness out like poison/ stab, retrieve, again decline/ Help me drive the dagger deeper/ Trace with me explicit line
] to Under Par
[Judged for how I look, not for the good that I have done/ I try the best I can but it seems like Iím not the perfect son/ Shaped by God, and my volition/ and the seeds that you have sown/ but I ask you again, when does my life become my own?
], he shows how poetic and creative he can be with his writing. Hell, even As the Ruin Falls
, a 2 minute track, has good lyrics.
- Phoenix Ignition is a great song. It starts very country-like, which almost kills the other two parts of the song. It would succeed if the other two parts werenít so great. It turns very aggressive with a very strong guitar performance with its powerful power chords, quick drumming and screaming by Dustin. It also has good lyrics, with Like a phoenix ignition, like a crematorium/ Like a swelling volition from the barrel of a gun/ From the ashes and the embers, like a rocket Iíll ascend/ Like a cry gone up for a fallen friend
. It then changes up again, slows down with Dustin screaming No regrets/ just rebirth/ move forward and ignite
. The three part song, mainly because of the slow-fast-slow parts, reminds me of Paranoid Android
of Radiohead, just not as good.
- This album is so consistent. There are virtually no bad songs, unless you count the filler The Next Day
, which is composed of static, reminiscent of Toolís Useful Idiot
, except there are little hints of guitar.
- Eddie, the bass player, is barely audible. I found but a handful of signs of his existence in the very beginning of the title track, parts Unquestioned Answers
, a cool little fill on To What End
, a few seconds of A Torch to End All Torches
and I hear him in parts of T&C
. You can tell how low the bass is turned in Ultra Blue
when there are many spots of no sound due to the guitar parts. You can clearly hear that thereís a bass, but itís amazingly quiet and you can barely make out the notes.
- The drumming is very basic, with simple beats that a beginner can play, with the exception of a few nice rolls and fills like in Phoenix Ignition
. Several songs are off-beat too like A Torch to End All Torches
, and Unquestioned Answers
, which I can find rather annoying. But hey...is that double bass I hear in As the Ruins Fall
- The beginning of Phoenix Ignition
is way too country for me. Acoustic guitar with Dustin and Teppei singing does not fit with the rest of the song at all.
- Dustin screams in every song except In Your Hands
. Thatís 9 songs (not including the filler). Yes, his scream can be enjoyable, but nearly every song? Thatís fu
- The lyrics of T&C are a bit repetitive and even a little cheesy...if you will.
- This album is so consistent. There are virtually no stand out songs, all of them are just plain good. I think a standout wouldíve been Phoenix Ignition
if it werenít for the crappy start.
Overall, I thought this was a good album, but Iím disappointed that Thrice came up with this. Itís not that bad because there are high points, like Dustinís lyrics and the fact that there are no bad songs. But the simple drumming, nearly non-existent bass and excessive the screaming bring it down too much. However, this leads up to their monster albums Vheissu and The Artist and the Ambulance, and you can clearly see where theyíre coming from with this album.
Overall Album Rating- 3.5/5