Thursday/Envy
Thursday/Envy


3.5
great

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
November 4th, 2008 | 46 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


In a way, split albums are more interesting to analyze than regular full-length albums, because a lot of times the bands influence each others' sounds in the studio. This has never been more apparent than on Envy and Thursday's recent split. Far removed from their typical pop-influenced post hardcore sound, Thursday have taken on many of Envy's traits, creating an EP consisting of two traditional Thursday songs and two spacey, ambient pieces, both of which are instrumental. On the other side of the split, Envy wrote one song that reflects Thursday's new direction, and two straightforward hardcore songs similar to the songwriting that Thursday typically employed in the past.

"An Umbrella Fallen Into Fiction" starts Envy's side of the split off on a bit of a shaky note, with Tetsuya Fukagawa's spoken word Japanese vocals sitting above a great clean guitar lead. However, some questionable electronic elements bring the start of the song down a little bit. They drop out soon enough though, as the guitar becomes more prominent, including more of the higher strings into its progression. The last third of the song sees a buildup in the electronic drums, with distortion slowly seeping into the chords. A typical Envy explosion might be expected here, but instead they throw a curveball, flowing into what is arguably the most majestic moment of their career. The chord progression is absolutely lovely, and Fukagawa's screaming seems somehow more beautiful than abrasive. It's completely out of left field, but amazingly so, and it saves the song from its somewhat mediocre first half. "Isolation of a Light Source" would fit well with All the Footprints You've Ever Left... era Envy, with its tremolo-picked riffs, chaotic drumming, and harsh screams interspersed with spoken word sections, which have become fairly prominent in Envy's music over the years. Many times they come in when the music is at its most tumultuous, creating a nice dichotomy of light and heavy. Dairoku Seki's drumming is to be commended; from album to album he has become more and more impressive; in this particular track his performance becomes more frantic and erratic as the song progresses. "Pure Birth and Loneliness" is an Abyssal-style track, with tuneful singing from Fukagawa which has improved tenfold since their early days. Although Envy have never been a band to focus too much on riffs, the odd-time signature repeating riff in the last minute of the song is the best thing they've ever written guitar-wise.

As for Thursday's side, they have been on an evolutionary track ever since Full Collapse came out. Slowly building on their now standard pop-post-hardcore sound, A City By the Light Divided saw the heavy use of synths to create a soundscape behind the songs. This has been pushed even further on this split, as two of the four Thursday songs are instrumental, heavily electronic drenched affairs. This is unfortunately for the worse, as these two songs are boring, derivative messes for the most part. While some of it may be due to their pairing with Envy (there is a very Insomnicac Doze/Abyssal-like crescendo in “In Silence”), it is also a pretty obvious extension from some of their work on A City…, but this time lacking the X-factor Thursday used to contain. “Appeared and Was Gone” in particular fails to achieve any kind of heights, as the piano ebbs and flows with some oddly placed sample and synth work, and the eventual post-rockish build up is ruined by the continual use of those same “doop woop” synth sounds they were using at the beginning of the song.

When the band sticks to its original guns, more success ensues. Album opener “As He Climbed The Dark Mountain” sounds a lot like the previous Thursday single “Ladies And Gentlemen, My Brother The Failure”, as the reverb-drenched production (yeah, they’re still doing that) compliments the interweaving guitar parts perfectly, and Geoff Rickley’s strange delivery in the chorus gives it that same detached feeling older Thursday used to have. The song does lack in anything actually new or interesting, as its just same old Thursday until the end, where we get a quiet little interlude to transition into “In Silence." “An Absurd and Unrealistic Dream of Peace” is their half's only real highlight, as the relentless guitar riffing never gives any ground. The song is more of a combination of the youthful calls of a song like “Paris in Flames” and the more restrained, tone based work of newer Thursday. While it's unfair to call their half a failure, Thursday generally don’t give much new material to be excited about here, and what they do give is so rooted in their past, it might as well have been saved for a B-sides comp than a split with Envy.

Overall, the fact that both Thursday and Envy took influence from each other turned out to be bittersweet. For Envy, the result was very favorable, as they combined Thursday's typical yet cohesive songwriting techniques with their own spastic hardcore sound, and even managed to sprinkle in bits of the sound that they've been manifesting these past few years. Thursday's side of the split was a huge progression for them, but they've still got a lot to learn about the sound they were trying to craft. It will take more than a few randomly placed samples and shoddily composed synth lines for them to become a respectable atmospheric-based band. They're at their best when they write songs with major influence from their older albums with a bit of atmosphere/electronic elements mixed in. When it's the other way around, they show their inexperience in recreating a sound that Envy have been perfecting and mastering for years. This split is a nice mix of an old band showing they can still play with the best of them and a band that's still trying to figure out just who they want to be.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
lunchforthesky
November 4th 2008


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think you're a bit generous on the rating but I agree with everything you said. I got this in the mail a few days ago, the artwork is great.

Athom
Emeritus
November 4th 2008


17240 Comments


A City By the Light Divided saw the heavy use of synth

synths

Album opener “As He Climbed The Highest Peak”

As He Climbed The Dark Mountain



JokesorInsults
November 4th 2008


244 Comments


I'm sensing some teeeennnsssion

I might get this if I feel like listening to more Envy later, I'm good with their older stuff for now.

brandtweathers
November 4th 2008


2006 Comments


split reviews... my hats off to you two as you both give sputnik a bigger sack to swing around the world of music criticism

dukes
November 4th 2008


133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I really love this split, im still waiting for it to get to me in the mail though :/

robin
Emeritus
November 4th 2008


4542 Comments


i was gonna look into this awhile ago because i wanted to hear thursday for once. might do so now. nice review

SnackaryBinx
November 4th 2008


2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

don't look here for thursday. start with full collapse.

dukes
November 4th 2008


133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i preordered it from temporary residence a long time ago, but there was some problems or something, they emailed me asking if i wanted gold or black and i replied, and that was that. i think this is some of thursdays best stuff, its like the sound they were going for on the not soo great ACBTLDThis Message Edited On 11.04.08

SnackaryBinx
November 4th 2008


2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

geoff forgot about singing.

dukes
November 4th 2008


133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

no, they wanted to do some post rock instrumental shit, the thing is, to me thursday isnt thursday w/o geoff but they have allways had great post rock sound in their songs. i think if they continue to do like instrumental stuff, geoff should do some spoken word stuff

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
November 4th 2008


4949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is more like a 3 but whatevs

The Jungler
November 4th 2008


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the instrumental Thursday tracks are pretty boring. the standard ones are good, and i like the Envy side. first track is the best.

bastard
November 4th 2008


3432 Comments


Damnit, now me and mi boi daviboi can't do a joint review man. Thanks a lot.

NOTINTHEFACE
November 4th 2008


1725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought Thursday's side was pretty near flawless, personally. Envy's side was a tad boring, but I have yet to get into them so I could just be missing something about their sound.

NortherlyNanook
November 4th 2008


1285 Comments


Great split.

dukes
November 5th 2008


133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i got mine in the mail today, woo, and the artwork is sick

xNintendoCorex
November 5th 2008


1269 Comments


review wasnt too bad, but i thought this whole split has been completely underwhelming > < maybe with time it'll grow on me. but for now its bordering on a snoozefest

Jack Wilson
November 5th 2008


313 Comments


i havent read the review yet. does the lp come with a cd version inside?

dukes
November 5th 2008


133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yes it does

GodsLonelyMan
November 5th 2008


34 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Envy owned Thursday on this splitThis Message Edited On 11.05.08



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