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Thrice - Major/Minor (Cover Artwork)

Thrice

Thrice: Major/MinorMajor/Minor (2011)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Thrice have always been known for the bold stylistic shifts they've taken: from the thrashy skatepunk of their early work, to the ambient experimentalism of the Vheissu era, to the anything-goes mentality of their ambitious Alchemy Index project, to the stripped-down blues-influenced rock of the gro.
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Thrice have always been known for the bold stylistic shifts they've taken: from the thrashy skatepunk of their early work, to the ambient experimentalism of the Vheissu era, to the anything-goes mentality of their ambitious Alchemy Index project, to the stripped-down blues-influenced rock of the group's last full-length, Beggars. These radical changes have lost the group some fans along the way, but for the open-minded listener, it's kept things very exciting, adding a Forrest Gump box of chocolates "You never know what you're going to get" that accompanies the anticipation of every album. The group's latest offering, Major/Minor isn't as radical of a leap forward as we've come to expect from the band, but it is another interesting step in the evolution of a band that refuses to make the same record twice.

It seems that Thrice have finally found a sound they liked and stuck with it. For the most part, Major/Minor feels like the followup to Beggars, rather than a new direction. There are differences, most notably the heavier guitars found throughout. The biggest difference between Beggars and Major/Minor is that they've taken the blues influences from that album and replaced them with some good old-fashioned grunge (the ferocious riffing of album opener "Yellow Belly", for example). When these influences rear their head, it sounds much closer to an authentic 1990s Pearl Jam/Soundgarden creation than some post-grunge radio rock nobodies. The grunge vibe permeates through most of the album, but is most noticeable on the first half, particularly on "Blinded" and "Cataracts".

With that said, it would be easy to simply label Major/Minor a "grungy Beggars," but there is more going on here than that. The band still has a few new tricks up their collective sleeve, namely the post-rock/emo guitar noodling of standout track "Anthology", which sounds like nothing else in the Thrice canon thus far. There are also a few callbacks to past triumphs, "Blur" and "Listen Through Me" bring to mind 2005's Vheissu, in terms of both style and quality.

Vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue still writes a great deal of his lyrics based on his Christian faith, most notably on the aforementioned "Listen Through Me", but as always, it is done in a way that seems personal and well-thought out, rather than preachy or condemning.

Nearly a decade-and-a-half into their career, Thrice continue to surprise their listeners. Although Major/Minor represents the most consistent that their sound has stayed from album to album, it is still a unique listening experience. With all the twists and turns that the group's musical direction has taken over the years, they've always had a style that is uniquely their own, and Major/Minor is no exception. If you're still holding out hope for a return to the Identity Crisis/Illusion of Safety years, this isn't the record for you, but if you've followed the band's evolution and stuck with them, Major/Minor is a rewarding and exciting listen.

 

 
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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.
stuxmusic (July 4, 2012)

Like Beggars before it, this album is 'alright' and little more. Thrice were at their best in the Alchemy and Vheissu days. All of the songs on this seem to blend into one another, so nothing truly stands out, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing if the overall is great, it's not the case here. Good record, but not as good as I've come to expect from Thrice.

fattony (December 7, 2011)

I still love these guys, but this and Beggars have not held my interest at all. I can acknowledge that they're both good albums, but I never have the urge to listen to them. I struggled to get all the way through this one the first time I listened to it, which is pretty telling.

rageagainst (September 22, 2011)

I'm surprised you guys like this album less than Beggars, its more grunge driven and closer to Vhiessu than Beggars, though I guess its more "catchy" which could be interpreted as more mainstream. Hipsters lol. Meh, there's no extremes though, there's no chill songs or super heavy songs, every song is like a mix of several different timbres, dynamics, etc.

However, this review is awful, it sounds like the reviewer barely has a grasp of what he's talking about. My review is skewed for those people voting "this album is the worst evar 1 star".

TheChemist (September 22, 2011)

Eh. Idk. There are some good songs I guess. But they're starting to sound like just another grungy rock band at times. Some of the songs are just boring. Anthology and Words In Water were really good. Usually when listening to their albums I have a moment to where I think, "THAT'S Thrice!" This one didn't feel too much like that. Honestly maybe my least favorite release of them ever. But maybe it's a grower.

By the way, good review.

bakonbeatz (September 22, 2011)

This album is still boring me to death. So disappointed. But stoked to see them live finally. Just wish it was at least a couple years ago. I'm sure their set will be heavy on the new one.

Dycelot (September 21, 2011)

Good record. Good review.

hashbrowns (September 21, 2011)

solid review.

I ordered the album, but haven't heard it yet. i think i read somewhere that the album title was a reference to the duality of the songs on it, some in minor keys with the rest in major keys. if it's true, it might be the closest they'll ever come to identity crisis again.

I grew up watching Thrice play places like Chain Reaction, UCR and CSUF. Listening to new records is hard because they don't offer the comfortable formula that I fell in love with as a teenager. They were truly inspiring records for myself and most everyone I knew in 2001-2003. But the creativity and the thought placed into their newer records is a testament to how valid their talent is.

hashbrowns (September 21, 2011)

their first EP, First Impressions was verrrrrrry thrashy/skatepunk. many of the melodies were similar to Good Riddance.

HeresLookinAtYou (September 20, 2011)

Really solid album. And surprise, a legitimate, non-overblown review.

thepopeofchili-town (September 20, 2011)

Oh, and thanks for the kind words, btw.

thepopeofchili-town (September 20, 2011)

@ Mill83: I wish. I'm going to school in Northern Idaho now. At least for the time being.

conebone69 (September 20, 2011)

RIP Thrice

mill83 (September 20, 2011)

Great review, glad to see Pope did it... I agree on the record, this sounds like a great continuation of their previous album, which I loved. Can't wait to hear from that one goon who insists they should go by a different name cause he doesn't feel their new stuff.

Going to the show in late October in Denver, Pope?

MuhammadMormon (September 20, 2011)

Thrashy skatepunk? Hahahaha! You are fucking clueless...

theTopher (September 20, 2011)

Anthology's not that dissimilar to some parts of TAITA and Vheissu. I like the song, but it grabbed me because of it's familiarity not it's uniqueness.

paulsilence (September 20, 2011)

This belongs on Hopeless.

eelsupinsideya (September 20, 2011)

Didn't Dustin move himself up to Seattle a while ago? Maybe being in and around that scene (presuming there still is one) has influenced the grungier elemants of this...

keithybobeefy (September 20, 2011)

Really good record.

inagreendase (September 20, 2011)

Yeah.

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