Thursday
Waiting


3.5
great

Review

by Mr. Lean Mug USER (112 Reviews)
August 3rd, 2006 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Being a resident of the [not so] great state of New Jersey, I always make a point to keep up with all of the bands that come out of my state yearly. Of recent times, one of the most interesting (and successful) groups to come from the Garden State are the North Jersey heroes, Thursday. This post-hardcore band (yes, post-hardcore, not emo/screamo or any of that ilk) combines elements of their influences, bands such as The Smiths, Joy Division, and The Cure, into a chiming, visceral sound that has an extremely unique nature to it. Released in late 1999, the band's debut album Waiting is one of the finest examples of the potential that Thursday have honed thus far throughout their career.

One of Waiting's most engaging qualities is singer Geoff Rickly's unique approach to songwriting. Rickly combines disturbing imagery with soft, beautiful phrasings in his lyrics. Such dynamic song topics are matched by Rickly's wide vocal range, a high-pitched, almost ethereal sound that is often accentuated by his band mates', or his own, screaming. Despite this, Thursday share very few similarities to other post-hardcore acts such as Thrice or the recently departed Boysetsfire. Thursday are clearly more similar to their indie inspirations, while also working elements of progressive rock in the vein of Rush into their songwriting. The band's penchant for using odd time signatures, multiple key and tempo breaks, and sectional-layered instrumentation drives this point even further home.

Waiting, for all of it's curiosity from a songwriting and performing standpoint, is a relatively straightforward album at its core. It's sound is decidedly true to Thursday's roots: it sounds like it was recorded in a basement. Thursday got their start playing alongside bands such as Hot Water Music, At the Drive-In, among others, in Geoff Rickly's basement at 331 Somerset in New Brunswick, NJ. Waiting captures the feel of that basement music: it's raw and unkempt, yet retains plenty of melodic quality to it. This type of atmosphere is as much a part of Waiting's overall package (from album art to CD decoration) as the music itself. Thursday's tribute to the self-confinement that they would break the bonds of is "Dying in New Brunswick," a despairing anthem of rage and sorrow. "Dying in New Brunswick" features everything there is that makes Thursday a curiosity in and of themselves, with a little more flair to it. It’s the most punk-like song to be found on Waiting, due in part mostly to the raucous chorus and smatterings of emphatic screaming. Rickly's cries of "Writing you this letter…" so you can "cry yourself to sleep at night", are just the lyrically content that may have Thursday's music misinterpreted in favor of that of the bastardized meaning of "emotional hardcore." On the whole, "Dying in New Brunswick" is a semi-depressing tale of painful growth for a hopeless case, a point that Thursday seem to want to convey with Waiting.

Aside from capturing Thursday's roots with its sound, Waiting is also clearly designed to be listened to via headphones. Most of the album's beautiful subtleties can only be fully appreciated with the most direct form of listening. From the folk-orchestrated introduction of "This Side of Brightness," to the inspiring mini-instrumental of "Introduction," to the album's provocative closer "Where the Circle Ends," there is perhaps no better example of the importance of headphones than "In Transmission." A relatively mellow song, with an undertone as deep as the Marianas Trench, "In Transmission" contains plenty of delicate nuances and surprises that new ones can be discovered with every listen. The chilling guitar lines of string slingers Tom Keeley and Bill Henderson cast a mesmerizing sense of compassion on the song, from beginning to breakdown to end. Particularly the breakdown, which sums the song up in a nutshell, in glorious post-hardcore/post-rock fusion brilliance. "In Transmission" is easily one of the most well-structured song on Waiting, but it's hardly the most meaningful.

Actually, that title is easily awarded to the album's opener, "Porcelain." A song about suicide to open an album full of insecurity and violence in an artful package seems rather fitting, as that's exactly what porcelain is. The entire track is a metaphor between porcelain and death, as Rickly states that "It's to fragile to hold", and that it "shatters in our hands". Adding a personal tinge to the song, Rickly goes on to state that "When people die, they take a piece of us with them," which is in reference to his friend Kevin (last name not given) who took his own life (and as such became the reason for this song's existence). "Porcelain" isn't the greatest of songs on Waiting, but it spreads a healthy message, and Thursday are to be commended for it. Another meaningful, and altogether interesting song is "Ian Curtis," a song that Rickly relates to a past relationship of his. Rickly and one of his former girlfriends would often lay in bed together while listening to Joy Division, the band that Curtis fronted. He relates the idea of Curtis' unfortunate suicide in the line "We heard Ian Curtis kill himself again in your bed…" "Ian Curtis" is a good song to match its influence, encompassing all of Thursday's positives.

Unfortunately, there are negatives to contend with as well. As good an album as Waiting is, it isn't without its fair share of drawbacks. For one thing, it's far too short. Once you factor in the eight actual tracks (as the instrumental "Introduction" can easily be construed as filler) you're left with an album of thirty two minutes and eleven seconds in length. You see, you won't want Waiting this soon. Another serious detraction is Thursday's annoying habit of lingering at the end of their songs, usually repeating tedious lyrics or pieces of music over and over again to the point of "Did the CD skip?" thoughts. However, if you overlook these, you find yourself with an album of exceedingly high quality.

While Thursday have since found their niche, gaining success with subsequent releases, they haven't managed to retain the certain appeal that Waiting carries. It's unfortunate, because with a little work, this type of charm could be crafted into something incredible. Waiting is the perfect introduction to Thursday, as any debut album should be. It's their best moments, and greatest weaknesses in one woefully wondrous collection. Thursday, as artists, can only go up. With their talent they could blast into the stratosphere at any time. I, however, will be content to view them from the proverbial bindings that, according to Thursday, the state of New Jersey has ensnared me in.



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Songwriting & musical potential is evident, but this debut is brought down by raw production and a s...

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...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
August 3rd 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My friend loves Thursday and he burned me this album. It has some great songs like "Porcelain" and "Ian Curtis" but this just isn't my type of music.
I also liked this review big boy.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 3rd 2006


17920 Comments


psh whatev

francesfarmer
August 3rd 2006


1477 Comments


I hate this band with a fiery passion, but no doubt this was a great review. You explained the music all good like.

Pyramidman
August 3rd 2006


1340 Comments


how can yo hate them??

theyre one of Post-Harcore's finest

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 3rd 2006


17920 Comments


how can yo hate them??

Well, maybe he doesn't like the way they sound. Just a guess.

francesfarmer
August 3rd 2006


1477 Comments


Chan, your site ranking is 69.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 3rd 2006


17920 Comments


Yes, I am aware and proud. So proud that I'm not doing anymore reviews unless I fall back a little.This Message Edited On 08.03.06

ToWhatEnd
August 3rd 2006


3172 Comments


Haha, nice. Speaking of nice, enjoyable review good sir. Me liked, Thursday is good stuff.

Muisee
August 4th 2006


679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review for a terrible band/album. Good work.

cbmartinez
August 4th 2006


2525 Comments


Better than my old review. Thursday's weakest album but still amazing. "Where The Circle Ends" is breathtaking.

Two-Headed Boy
August 4th 2006


4527 Comments


Tip: When I submit reviews, I just use the Sputnik review submitter, and when it's not done I just copy and paste it to Word, then save it. When I want to continue, I just copy and paste it back to the Sputnik review submitter. It seems to work with me.

Fantastic review. I only have the new album, but I've been itching to get some more.

Two-Headed Boy
August 4th 2006


4527 Comments


Holy shit I was just singing Porcelain by Red Hot Chili Peppers when I saw your little paragraph there :eek:

cbmartinez
August 5th 2006


2525 Comments


By the way, you may want to edit your review were necessary to the fact that Bill Henderson played guitar on this album, not Steve Pedulla. He was added for Full Collapse.

Full Collapse299
August 6th 2006


507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Whoo! Go NJ!

I was just thinking to myself, "Good someone actually knows that Steve didn't play on Waiting." Good review! Love this album. Sucks they don't play any stuff of it live though. The last time I think was Porcelain at the secret myspace show in Asbury NJ, sucks I couldn't go. But before that it was like 2004.

Pyramidman
August 6th 2006


1340 Comments


how cool would it be to ahve this awesome music scene right in your basement?

id sell some vital organs just to ahve ATD-I play in my basement
::even though i dont have one::

Full Collapse299
August 6th 2006


507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I don't want to get banned but Dying In New Brunswick is about a girl being raped.

"Will you look back on this night
As the day that ruined your life."


"And every night when I try and sleep.
I feel your hands all over my body."



DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 6th 2006


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=Herp Kat]it sounds like it was recorded in a basement[/quote]

Whaaa.

minty901
April 2nd 2012


2018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album was nothing of what i expected after hearing their more recent stuff. was expecting something really punky but it sounds a lot more like the 90s emo/indie movement than it does post-hardcore/punk. really like it

Graveyard
April 2nd 2012


5740 Comments


yea this album isn't good at all

Digging: Nurse With Wound - Spiral Insana

minty901
April 2nd 2012


2018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this might be their best album. this opinion might be premature.



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