Everybody has a different musical background. Everyone takes a different path through his or her musical journey. Everybody has different influences on the paths they take through the magnificent world of music. Some find their own personal favourite qualities and characteristics of a particular musical genre quickly, and stick with it for a long period of time. For others it takes time. But the musical landscape is so vast that there is something that may interest just about anybody. My own musical journey has changed paths quite a bit. My earliest recollections of musical interest were rooted firmly in whatever my parents listened to, usually classic rock or alternative rock. But after a few years went by I got it into my head that my interests had to be different from my parents. Over the next 2-3 years I jumped from Nickelback to Sum 41 to even the likes of Eminem and Jay-Z. But it wasn't until I moved to a different city and made new friends, was it that I made a very large progression in my musical journey. It was with these guys that I got my first tastes of a variety of new music. These genres of course, were metal, metalcore, and post hardcore. With bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Avenged Sevenfold, Funeral for a Friend, and Thursday, I couldn't have been happier. Though I was more into the heavier bands like Iron Maiden and Avenged Sevenfold, I also thought Thursday was a fairly interesting band. Their new album, War all the Time could be heard blaring from my room every so often. However, just as I had done in the past, I eventually discarded the post hardcore genre, and focused more on my interest with metal and its subgenres. Recently though, I found my old War all the Time album, decided to give it another listen, and look back on a genre I had once shrugged off.
War all the Time takes listeners through a varying direction. Though their music stays confined in that of their mother-genre, Thursday creates several different atmospheres through their songs. The opener, for instance is an energetic track revolving around the singer Geoff Rickley's melodic vocals, Geoff's shouts and screams, and the riffs of the band's guitars. Despite Geoff's vocals being less than pleasant, the song, and other songs similar to that one still manage to catch one's attention and oftentimes become ingrained in one's memory for quite awhile. For me, this catchiness is probably Thursday's biggest selling point, when it comes to this breed of track. However, where the band excels the most is where they create a vivid image through their songs. The title track, War all the Time, paints the most disturbing image of anything the band had written for this record. By far the most depressing song on the album, in my mind War all the Time's bleak lyrical message depicts a grey, gloomy, war-torn New York City. The once booming "Big Apple" lies in ruins due to the warring forces that have reduced the city into a battlefield, causing sickness, sorrow, depression, and everything in between. Maybe I have a wild/crappy (take your pick) imagination, but that's what pops into my mind every time I hear that song. Though they're pretty negative, Thursday's lyrics are very powerful and are one of the band's better assets.
However, I have one major complaint with War all the Time. This revolves around the band's vocalist, Geoff Rickley. Perhaps I'm not the best versed in that of the post hardcore genre, but Geoff's vocals come across as any other post hardcore singer. Though sometimes he can be tolerable, such as in the chorus of the title track, for much of the album his whiny, irritating vocal technique often ruins some of the momentum that the rest of the band builds. At times it gets very difficult to listen through some of the album, as Rickley's voice does not really vary in his performance at all. The screams and shouts that back him up are done exceedingly better, but they are not used nearly as much as Geoff's whine. Rickley does not have an absolutely horrid performance, he still has his moments. But with that said, he still does reduce the enjoyment factor of the album.
In the past, War all the Time was one of the albums that opened my eyes to an entirely new sect of music. I enjoyed the album quite a bit, and embraced it as one of my favourites of the time. That was two years ago. Looking back, I can certainly see why I enjoyed it so much. It was largely through the catchy musical aspect of the album, and of course, the vivid song writing. Yes there were some weaker aspects, but this being only Thursday's third album, growing pains are to be expected. War all the Time is a decent release, and fans of the genre shouldn't hesitate in picking it up.
War all the Time
For the Workforce, Drowning
Signals over the Air