Major/Minor by Thrice

 

Music was never a trophy on display in the hall or in a cardboard box in the attic. Music was never a sedative/tranquilizer to comfort your restlessness or cure anhedonia. Music is; was; and always will be, an experience. That being said, it feels like Thrice and I grew up together. Frontman Dustin Kensrue’s own brand of Rock has evolved so gracefully from Album #1 through Album #8, it’s difficult to shrug off the human-like aura that Thrice has carried through their exemplary career. The unnerving sense of urgency of the pre-Vheissu era made way for the uncanny experimental/art rock in The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II and The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV (The albums were a conjunction of 4 EPs, each EP donning themes of the 4 classical elements of life – Fire, Earth, Air and Water). The ambitiousness of The Alchemy Index volumes was something Modern Rock preachers were thus far oblivious about.

 

Thrice’s keen observation and the succeeding adaptation with each album filled the glaring hole in Rock music that was either ignored or went unnoticed. There is a reason why many Thrice fans believe that The Earth Will Shake is arguably one of the best written songs to have come out this decade. It was almost like Kensrue grabbed the shoulders of those who concluded that the scene was dead and said – “Trust me when I say that you weren’t looking at all.”

 

TRACKLIST:
#1. Yellow Belly 3:58
#2. Promises 4:09
#3. Blinded 4:24
#4. Cataracts 4:03
#5. Call it in the Air 4:37
#6. Treading Paper 4:41
#7. Blur 3:14
#8. Words in the Water 6:26
#9. Listen Through Me 4:37
#10. Anthology 4:24
#11. Disarmed 4:49

 

PERSONNEL:
Eddie Breckenridge: Bass
Riley Breckenridge: Drums, Percussion
Dustin Kensrue: Vocals, Guitar
Teppei Teranishi: Guitar

 

PRODUCER:
Dave Schiffman

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
6th September, 2011

 

Experimentation can get a little exhausting sometimes. In Thrice’s last album, the critically-acclaimed Beggars, it was all about going back to the drawing-board and starting afresh. The progression from the new-found rawness in Beggars shines and sparkles right down the length of Major/Minor. The band doesn’t waste much time and launches in with angst and force in the grungy Yellow BellyDustin Kensrue’s literary sense is breaking new grounds throughout the record. No fortune-cookie wisdom here — every song is fuelled with aggression and subtle resentment. Teppei’s guitar work is a display of sheer brilliance, with barbwire-esque riffs running along the vocals to make Major/Minor the most guitar-driven Thrice album yet.

 

Promises is easily one of the highlights – muffled guitars make a foray and launch the song into the vortex with breakneck pace. The mood is toned down in Cataracts as Eddie’s playful bass-line takes the center-stage. Half-way through the album, you’re bound to believe that the band is at its artistic pinnacle. The bite in Dustin’s voice is ever-present, he isn’t merely parroting a succession of GRE words or penning lines for tattoo-quotes. “Your life is a coin in the air, it will come down somewhere. Every coin does ring, every coin does fall. Stop your wavering. Now’s the time to call it out.” – he sings in the relentlessly intense Call it In The Air.

 

Listen Through Me proves to be the most accessible of the lot. The song’s magnificent ebb and flow flushes into a song which is a caricature of the journey Thrice has covered in the last 14 years. Anthology is nostalgia-laden and a portrayal of mastery in terms of songwriting – Dustin scoffs away any scent of lyrical pretentiousness with lines like – “It’s true that you can snap my neck but I trust you to save my life instead.” Sadly, Anthology is also a slight hint about the end. It was no surprise when Dustin announced Thrice’s indefinite hiatus a few months back. With Anthology, Thrice underlines the fact that they have nothing left to prove and nothing left to hide.

 

My only beef with Major/Minor is the finish – Anthology would have made a much more appropriate ending to this mammoth of an album instead of the calm-at-heart Disarmed. I must confess that I’m still nitpicking. Every song is a beast in itself and deserves individual time rather than your scattershot attention. People will always look back at Vheissu as the cornerstone of Thrice’s discography; although, with Major/Minor, Thrice unleashes a strange kind of ferocity and flat-out excellence that mocks the illusion of chaos in which we live. Thrice has done us a favor and paved the way for the rest of the scene. This is as engaging as Modern Rock can possibly get.

 

 

 

 

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