Somewhere in between the words brutal, brilliant, and beautiful a description of Thursday
is found. Hailing from New Jersey, they have made quite a name for themselves since the early 21st century. Their 2001 album Full Collapse
is considered by many to be an extremely significant release for the modern day post-hardcore scene. Well following such a landmark album is no easy challenge, especially when it is your major label debut. Remarkably, Thursday
delivered the goods once again with releasing War All The Time
on Island Records. The album helped secure their place as one of the premier leaders of post-hardcore.
If there were any doubts of a huge change in sound they will soon be washed away with as soon as the first notes of For the Workforce, Drowning
hit the listener’s ears. It is quite the energetic opener as its intro is very hard hitting. When singer Geoff Rickley’s voice comes in, the beauty is truly revealed. He has a very enjoyable voice to say the least and a powerful, raw scream to back it up. Many consider his voice to be slightly whinny; but it is more of an acquired taste than anything. Regardless of that, he truly is a perfect fit for the band, as his voice always seems to fit the music incredibly well whether it is heavy or soft. His lyrics often shown discontent and have a very frantic mood to them. Intensity is always felt from his wonderfully written lyrics, especially in the opener.
“And we're up to our necks,
Drowning in the seconds,
Ingesting the morning commute
Lost in a dead subway sleep
Now we lie wide awake in our parents' beds
Tossing and turning tomorrow we'll get up
Drive to work, single file
With everyday it's like the last.
Waiting for the life to start, is it always just ahead of the curve?"
A lot of the lyrics focus of issues that a general society can relate to, and at times in this album is very political. The themes are a definite plus, as it is something that separates Thursday
from the vast amount of bands who’s lyrics are infested will lost romance tales. While they show vast amounts of angst, they reach onto different subjects than others do not. Despite the negative themes at times, there is never an overly gloomy mood on the record. It seems that the tracks are well balanced with their atmospheres, as a primary mood never overtakes another. The record is not overly depressing or extremely happy; rather it is a perfectly stabile equilibrium of the two. That being out there, the same can be said about the tempo of the record. Thursday
has always been capable of producing a great mix of softer melodies with harder hitting sections, and this continues to be the case throughout the record. Marches and Maneuvers
opens with a mid tempo intro that builds up very reminiscent to Autobiography of a Nation from FC. Geoff’s vocals have a lot of variety throughout the track, and his transitions from singing to screaming are absolutely flawless. The song itself contains plenty of variation between slower delicate parts to at times chaotic sections.
The title track War All The Time
is one of the more depressing songs on the album. Overall a gloomy mood arises for the majority of the track. The music and lyrics just really take a hold on the listener and everything seems to move in slow motion.
“War all of the time
In the shadow of the New York skyline
We grew up too fast, falling apart
Like the ashes of American flags
If the sun doesn't rise
We'll replace it with an H-bomb explosion"
Its slow opening leads into a soft verse and chorus, which works great. With about a minute remaining things start to pick up as the distortion kicks in with full effect and a nice riff playing behind the rhythm section. While its feel is slightly different than the majority of the album, it still features all of the wonderful qualities the record has. Throughout the CD, the wonderfully written lyrics, solid guitar rhythms and riffs, great vocals, and variation filled drumming seem to persist. No matter what style of music the band is playing, they seem to maintain all of these elements. This simple reason is why War All The Time
is a fantastic listen.
It seems that when many bands try to make an album with variation, their signature strengths seem to dissolve away. Thursday
is certainly an exception to this; as it seems the band is extremely capable of touching onto many different styles of music. Not only does the band incorporate various types of music, but they also use many different styles of song structure. The mass amount of variety is still pulled off very successfully and convincingly. This is no Full Collapse; rather it is expanding on that and taking a step down a slightly different path. This is proof that Thursday
is not going to go down as one album heroes. They have a long lasting sound and enough creativity to keep things coming for an extensive amount of time. With War All The Time
made an ideal major label debut and have secured their place as successful post-hardcore musicians for the modern era.
Final Rating: 4/5