These wells are not that deep after all, eh?
At first I was intrigued, truly, I'm a big fan of B-sides, leftovers, and any non-LP projects bands release, most of the time it shows the creative process and struggles they've encountered recording an album, and can explore stranger territories. And the pitch was perfect: companion piece, different side, yada-yada-yada, but maybe they were exaggerating a little bit. I've guessed that these four songs will serve more as a fan service to those who were disappointed in Palms, being heavier, and more old Thrice-esque. I've guessed right, and I've guessed wrong at the same time. Deeper Wells definitely tries to channel some Beggars-era vigor and atmosphere, or even earlier than that, was it done on purpose, or was it really just a bunch of songs that didn't make the cut, we may never know, but the latter is more likely, because all the flaws of production and song-writing that can be found in Palms are pretty much visible here too.
We have two rock songs that are mediocre at best, considering what Thrice did on TBEITBN with the same concept, then there is a classic Palms song which is not bad actually, and a perfect closer as always. So the necessity of it in whole is really questionable. I would rather exchange In This Storm and Stumbling West for Hold Up a Light and The Dark, slightly increasing full-length's value, than to emotionally invest into a shallow EP. And yeah, it doesn't sound good, Dustin! And I haven't even heard the poorly ripped version on YouTube, it just that production on this really sucks, no way around it. These drums are plastic, guitar tone is terrible just like it was on Palms, and vocals are way over-compressed. But even phenomenal sound engineering wouldn't save this ship from sinking.
Because lyrically it takes the same road Palms did, and that's my main problem with Deeper Wells. Maybe I'm wrong, but the context surrounding the band, and Dustin's tweets pretty much points into a direction of this being a very politically motivated release. And believe it or not, I'm okay with this. I mean a lot of great albums were politically charged, some wasn't, but overall it's a hardcore punk thing to be about politics and social issues, so cool. But do I want "hardcore" anthems that are very-very mainstream if you ask me from Thrice" The answer is no. But who cares what I want, right" Do I want to be lectured on the issues and problems that I'm already decided on through Thrice's music" The answer is still no. Even being atheist I felt more emotional connection with Kensrue's lyrics when he was forcing his Christianty on me. And again it super okay to sing about peace, love, and understanding, I won't nag about it just because I see a liberal agenda in it, but is this all Thrice has become" Once it was an extremely intelligent band that drew its inspiration from different sources and literature, but now it feels exclusively pointed in one direction. So it's easy to feel excluded, not like don't come to my concert if you disagree with me (looking at you, Keith), but like you won't get a much needed satisfaction from my music if you don't believe in the same things as me. I know I will get a lot of hear for this, but I just can't help myself from thinking that were it influenced by something else than a political climate it would be more reminiscent of a band that I love, and forever will.
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"I won't nag about it just because I see a liberal agenda in it,"
spends whole fuckin paragraph nagging lol
how do you get triggered by thrice lyrics lol
Those pesky liberals all meeting up in secret to decide what their agenda is gonna be for the next few months
Digging: Alarmist - Sequesterer
Album Rating: 4.5
Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off
I'm a fairly hardcore leftist and Dustin's lyrics on Palms and Deeper Wells bother me because they're fucking boring. I don't care how much I agree with the sentiments, the past year he's basically gone the Mumford & Sons route in the lyric department. For Miles and The Weight are beautiful songs about love and acceptance and now we're left with "I'm sick of toeing party lines across the great divide/I'm sick of human hearts reduced to red or blue."
The production on this is also just as bad as most of Palms. It gets in the way of the songs more often than not. Stumbling West is still a great track but it's the only one worth taking off the EP imo. Deeper Wells could have been a decent track to if the lyrics weren't so damn bland, and In This Storm gets killed by the production.
Not sure how this is liberal. These lyrics are centrist as fuck.
"I'm sick of human hearts reduced to red or blue."
"But I refuse to buy into this tired narrative that anyone who doesn't run with me's a fool. And I believe together we can build a better bridge that spans the breadth and starts connecting me to you.
Album Rating: 4.0
Yeah dude, the lyrics here are not liberal. If that is your reading of this, I fear you probably misread the entirety of Palms as well. This project the whole concept is that truth lies in the in between (see The Grey, A Better Bridge, Beyond the Pines, etc). Political, sure. But not liberal, centrist to the core. Also, the review is full of tons of typos. Sorry, gotta leave a neg.
I get what he's saying about the lyrics. They are fine by themselves, but when reading all of Dustin's tweets, I think the author had a rough time not finding preachy connections.
Album Rating: 3.5
@impoppy, those lyrics seem neutral as to political position. You could be a liberal and believe that liberal positions/policies are correct across the board but still think that conservatives are not fools, that the issues are complicated, and that we all need to resist reducing those we disagree with to caricatures.
Actual liberalism is generally opposed to bipartisanism and favours a plurality of voices, so it doesn't not apply here but I'd agree it's not the best label. Liberalism is best used for Thrice in a purely religious sense.
Digging: bloodthirsty butchers - Kocorono
Album Rating: 3.5
@DustedNation I think I disagree that Dustin's message in the Palms project is that the truth lies in the middle, as if Dustin is just asking that we find some moderate middle ground. I don't really see him take a stand on political issues directly (except perhaps for being anti war in some sense) so much as ask that we all keep in mind the shared humanity we have across our various labels and identities.
I think he makes stronger claims about religion than about politics. In that arena he seems to be leaning towards some pluralistic claim that different religions are all different representations of the same transcendent reality. He seems to have a certain skepticism towards our ability to conceptualise that reality, which makes him be wary of saying that any particular representation of it is true.
"I'm sick of toeing party lines across the great divide/I'm sick of human hearts reduced to red or blue."
yeah this is very centrist. it's kind of like dustin developed a brain
Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off
Dustin's always had a brain and centrism isn't a brainy worldview. It's more of a cowardly one, afraid to actually stand for something.
yeah the biggest problem with his lyrics on this EP (and palms too) isn't that it's too liberal but it's actually just milquetoast mealy mouthed "we can do better" garbage. the stances he's trying to get across are so flimsy they basically don't mean anything at all. have some conviction FFS
Saying you're definitively left or right is pretty restrictive. I don't think it's cowardly to think for yourself instead of being unflinchingly loyal to one side.
Being prepared to deal with balance and compromise is anything but cowardly and centrism gets an unfairly bad rep from people who overlook that
there's a huge difference between balance and compromise than chronic fence-sitting and enabling shitty people/ideas to be portrayed as equals. centrism is far too commonly the latter, where it acts as an enforcer of the status quo. and considering how often 'centrists' are happy to sell out what actual positions they may have to join forces with the right-wing does not inspire any cnfidence in them.
Guessing you're referring at least partly to the UK 2010? Bc if so that's a classic case of a centrist party striking an imperfect balance in coalition, exercising a hugely healthy influence on a right-wing partner, and gaining minimal credit for it
Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off
Centrism is being prepared to deal with balance and compromise; it's the belief that both sides hold merit and that the truth must lie somewhere in the middle. It's an entire belief system rooted in not taking a stand for what's right because some opposition exists.
Pragmatism is something different entirely. To be pragmatic you actually have to have goals beyond engaging in futility to make both sides happy.
The Lib Dems completely sold out any principles they had when they went into that coalition, and the fact that they slightly neutralised a couple of tory policies does not exonerate them. They didn't need to enter that coalition at all. But that however was not particularly what I was referring to. It more often than not is the case that so-called centrists have a lack of principles and are instead only willing to uphold status quos that suit them, when there exists masses of disenfranchised and discriminated groups, for which that kind of attitude actively harms. Now if you want to argue for pragmatism as supernatural just referred to, I can definitely see benefits. Accomplishing major progress can sometimes be achieved within in an instant, but sometimes a slower, pragmatic approach to allow cultural adjustments is a better way to go.
Maybe a cliche at this point, but MLK's Letters from Birmingham Jail is one of the most damning critiques of this form of 'centrism' there ever will be:
"First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."