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Thursday

Thursday: No Devolución (2011)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ready to feel old? No Devolución is Thursday's sixth full-length. The New Brunswick, N.J. post-hardcore sextet has had remarkable staying power in their 14 years together, through a landmark album for the genre (2001's Full Collapse) and a stint on a major label that yielded critically acclaimed wor.
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Ready to feel old? No Devolución is Thursday's sixth full-length. The New Brunswick, N.J. post-hardcore sextet has had remarkable staying power in their 14 years together, through a landmark album for the genre (2001's Full Collapse) and a stint on a major label that yielded critically acclaimed work, but surely not the volume for which the suits were looking. They returned to the indie world with 2009's Common Existence, a record that, along with 2006's A City by the Light Divided, begged the question of whether or not Thursday was going through the motions, having reached a sonic comfort zone and not wanting (or needing, really) to stray from it, especially with their legacy and fanbase largely intact. Fortunately, No Devolución is the antithesis of that perceived stagnation, a record that's ambitious and even fearless in its scope. Thursday has taken a sound that's familiar and arguably overwrought, and breathed new life into it.

Two things that are immediately apparent on No Devolución are the deliberate shift in guitar tones, as well as Geoff Rickly's more restrained vocal approach; on opener "Fast to the End", the guitars are distorted and distant, and not at all crunchy, while Rickly's voice protrays a sense of quiet, echoey desperation that's a far cry from the franticness for which he's generally known. This track, along with "No Answers" and "A Darker Forest", seems to highlight the bass and keyboards of Tim Payne and Andrew Everding, respectively, more than anything else, and their work here is extremely captivating. Also of note is the distortion applied to Everding's programming in the excellent "Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart", which seems to finally validate the presence of the instrument within Thursday's landscape.

"Past and Future Ruins" is the crown jewel of the album, the track that puts it all together, so to speak. Stark verses with little more than rolling drums and Rickly's subdued voice clash with heavy, dissonant guitars, distorted cries and indecipherable screams in the chorus, each part made more distinct by its counterpart. We expect certain groups to seamlessly meld abrasiveness and melody in this manner, but hearing it from Thursday six albums into their career, it's honestly a bit startling.

No Devolución doesn't let up in its final act, either; the way the rhythm section pulses and pounds in "A Gun in the First Act" around distant riffs and soaring vocals is impressive. The verses in "Turnpike Divides" are perhaps the most melodic moments on the album, augmented by the distortion and chaos that populates the song's chorus. And the album's near eight-minute closer "Stay True" possesses all the components of a great closing track: a slow, deliberate build that leads in a massive, climatic payoff, a formula not entirely original, but within the context of this album, it's the only way Thursday could've ended it.

If you've tuned out Thursday over the last five years or so, it's time to start paying attention to them. No Devolución is the band's best work since Full Collapse, and while time will tell if it ends up being a genre-shifting game-changer the way Full Collapse was a decade ago, it certainly has the chops to accomplish it.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandThursday - Common ExistenceCrime in Stereo - I Was Trying to Describe You to SomeoneThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangHot Water Music - CautionThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Clash - London CallingSamiam - Trips

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
theautumnpeople (April 19, 2011)

It's like they took the worst songs off of each of their previous albums, wrote a few more similarly bad song & put this record out.

It seems that after the Envy split, Thursday thought, "Hey, let's do Thursday's version of an American, floaty, atmospheric Envy record". If that's what you're into, you may like this. If not, this is a pathetic excuse for a Thursday album.

Deadpan (April 18, 2011)

Until this, Common Existence was the only Thursday album I liked. This takes the shoegaze/post-rock elements that I really liked about the last record and expands on them, but they don't really sound like the same band that they used to be. Which, for me at least, is a huge positive.

mikeinflames (April 15, 2011)

Wouldn't say this album is horrible. It's just really boring.
I've given it a couple listens now and it just bores me.

Laura89 (April 14, 2011)

They sound much better live !!

ghostsontv (April 13, 2011)

Wow, there are radically different opinions of Thursday albums. I think the only album that doesn't kick as is A City by the Light Divided, and I also think that Common Existence is the best thing they've put out. It took me a while to get into it, but now that I have it might be another reason why I like this newest album so much.

streaksinthesky (April 13, 2011)

Wow! What's with all the "Waiting" bashing? Maybe I'm just old, but "Waiting" is an amazing album. Solid from front to back.

damnitsderek (April 13, 2011)

I enjoyed this much more than I did Common Existence. Definitely better than I was expecting.

SadAstronaut (April 12, 2011)

This is definitely their best album, or tied with Full Collapse at least. Sparks Against the Sun and Past and Future Ruins are amazing, and Stay True is breathtakingly awesome. Check it out even if you've never been a Thursday fan, you might be surprised.

wyzo (April 12, 2011)

I do feel old. I remember when against me, at the drive in and thursday were the trio of bands that all of a sudden everyone liked from reinventing axl rose, relationship of command and full collapse. (to a lesser extent and a bit later, thrice).

Thursday and Against me were so new, it was odd at the time for people who gave two shits about 99% of music from the non-commercial mainstream to act like these 3 bands had been discovered by them and jesus had risen. You know how a band with 9 full lengths can get signed to a major and all of a sudden its their '1st' major label release and they came from a musical vacuum?

I had different reactions to each band and in general its hard to get into bands with little output as if they're the second coming if within your record collection they actually aren't 'new' but fit within a larger landscape. I liked people's enthusiasm but it seemed more of a celebrity fixation than people getting into great music.

I never liked Full Collapse and had no idea why people were saying they had invented a new genre. Certainly didn't and still doesn't seem like it.

Over the years, while At the Drive in broke up, Against Me became uneven (not a bad thing, that means they still have upswings), it surprises me that both Thursday and Thrice have put out some of my favorite records in the last few years in years I no longer really pay much attention to music or care to expand my record collection. Since Vheissu, while I still don't get into their early stuff, I absolutely love the work thrice has done. Huge surprise.

Same with Thursday. While A city by the light divided still seems like a mixed bag, I've come to dig most if not all of their stuff, with the main credit going to Common Existence and this new record (and some killer bsides). They work really well as albums, not just a batch of songs sequenced in some random order. Same goes for most of Thrice's latest output. Even the recording style based on interviews of this record and Thrice's Beggars is similar.

And like thrice, I try to avoid reading interviews with the bands about the albums or lyrics since the music usually speaks better for itself.

Just big, dense, atmospheric, lyrically mature albums. A suggestion for bands: enjoy touring and playing live, but please write albums for those of us who need art and music and expression but aren't the live crowd demographic or are listening to your tunes in all sorts of contexts and circumstances. Don't dumb down your expression. Its ok for bands to act and write music for their age as they grow. It's appreciated.
Good Stuff.

StraightToHell82 (April 12, 2011)

I mean... just... goddamnit.

StraightToHell82 (April 12, 2011)

I've been a fan of them for 10 years... this is a terrible album. Just fucking awful.

LolaKent (April 12, 2011)

the new sound is super epic! loooveee the album

eatdogs (April 12, 2011)

i think waiting is a great album. it has all the elements of 90's style emo to match up with their peers...

Territory (April 12, 2011)

Really? The second half of ACBTLD was the same old stuff and stagnation? Even Common Existence was a mile away from the typical, height of "screamo" stuff.

fattony (April 12, 2011)

Really liking this on first listen. And yes, Common Existence is a fantastic record, as is A City By The Light Divided. The only album of theirs that's not good is Waiting, though War All The Time hasn't aged particularly well. I'd rank their albums as so: Full Collapse > A City By The Light Divided > No Devolucion (this could move up though) > Common Existence > War All The Time >>>>>>> Waiting.

eatdogs (April 12, 2011)

very interested in this album now. i can't tell without listening, but i hope it has more of the soft twinkly parts that their older material produced. sort of like the instrumental song left off full collapse called, "the ring of far off black jets"...

SonicDefiance (April 12, 2011)

Your review is utterly amazing, and I don't mean that in the way you'd like.

This. Album. Is. Fucking. Terrible.

The production of their Epitaph albums = Heinous. Just listen to the sound of the snare on track 1. Did your teenage cousin record this album? Do you listen to yourselves before you release a record?

Doodie in the undies.

Shogun (April 12, 2011)

Great review. Great album.

mill83 (April 12, 2011)

Thanks FourStarReviews.org!

inagreendase (April 12, 2011)

I agree with insinceredave's sincere comment, although Common Existence is probably my least favorite record of theirs next to Waiting.

This seems pretty good after an initial listen. Definitely needs time.

preston (April 12, 2011)

I liked Common Existence as well. Actually, if anything, I always felt War All the Time sounded boring.

SmellTheGlove (April 12, 2011)

Is Common Existence perceived by the majority to be a bad album? I had no clue, I actually think it's their best album.

insinceredave (April 12, 2011)

I thought Common Existence was a good record. The final track "You Were The Cancer" is one of the best songs they have recorded. Looking forward to this.

laserguidedbygod (April 12, 2011)

Just read it more carefully and apparently it is. 5 reading comprehension points for me.

laserguidedbygod (April 12, 2011)

Okay, the million dollar question here: it's better than that shitpile they called Common Existence, and therefore actually worth checking out, right?

brangelina (April 12, 2011)

great band, great dudes, great record, great everything.

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