THICK - 5 Years Behind (Cover Artwork)


5 Years Behind (2020)

Epitaph Records

Debut releases for Epitaph Records tend to add a new level of production to punk bands not found on earlier material. This is not meant pejoratively, but an acknowledgement of the sound the label was known for in the ‘90s and expanded upon in recent decades as it evolved. Some of my favorite records are just what I described. It’s why when putting on THICK’s debut full-length Epitaph release, it’s live setting feel and scrappy lo-fi yet production makes 5 Years Behind stand out. It sounds immediately fun and punk as fuck.

THICK is a Brooklyn pop-punk trio with a smattering of releases under their name over the last few years. 5 Years Behind has that exciting debut energy that’s hard to place and even harder to replicate later on in a discography. It pounds it’s way through just under 30 minutes of fuzzed out and scuzzy pop-punk that sounds like early Best Coast on a handful of speed.

“Your Mom” blasts through with walking bass lines, three chords, and a lecture unneeded from a mother over the direction of your life. “Fakes News” obliterates the endless scroll of our phones filled with superficial bullshit in well under a minute. “Mansplain” continues this way and kicks off with what I’m sure THICK has heard too many times before of men handing out sexist backhanded compliments.

What makes the album incredibly fun is the band is willing to have it. They exude this energy throughout 5 Years Behind. Life observations and jokes lacquered with sarcasm are peppered throughout the lyrics that cover sexism, apathy, and how much shit just kind of sucks sometimes. It’s the type of approach that should be relatable to any cynical punk who parties on.

“Sleeping Through the Weekend” catches the ear immediately with a Cayetana like bass line before detailing out how unimpressive an identity forged by a job is. “I Won’t Back Down,” the longest track on the album which finishes with a piano solo akin to “Adams Song,” captures the dread of watching the news during a mass shooting.

With 5 Years Behind, THICK offers up a flat out fun debut that will be easy to transition to a live setting. If you get a kick standing way too close to an amp and blasting out your ear drums with distortion, there’s likely a dive club that has THICK’s name on it in the future.