Thrice - Identity Crisis (Cover Artwork)


Identity Crisis (2001)

Sub City

In 2002, Thrice released what was arguably one of the best CD's of the year, The Illusion of Safety (click HERE for a review). I instantly fell in love with this band after listening to that albums first 4 songs. So naturally, as any brand new fan boy would, I quickly hunted down their first release, Identity Crisis. To my dismay,I found it to be quite different. Identity Crisis was a very odd experience for me musically, and rather then just review it, I thought I would show you how my relationship with it developed.


I pop Identity Crisis into my cars CD player, and the first track "Identity Crisis" starts out weak, but quickly kicks up the pace and becomes really good. (gotta love the verses on this song!) Then "Phoenix Ignition" comes on, and sounds like it is gonna rock, but I find I dont like its structure, and the shouted end just sounds bad. After exiting the car, and some 40 minutes later, im done listening to the CD and find that Thrice used to sound a lot less metal, and a lot more pop. I cant remember how any of the songs go. Disappointed, I listen to The Illusion of Safety instead and go to sleep.


I cant even remember listening to this CD the day before, so I give it another go. "Phoenix Ignition" still annoys me. "In your hands" sounds like a Get-Up Kids rip off. I cant remember the middle songs at all....but "T&C" has a Dragon Ball Z reference in it. I like Dragon Ball Z, but not in my music...thats just corny. My opinion gets lower, I listen to Refused instead of this on the way to work.


Didnt even look at this album. But I did hum "Identity Crisis" to myself.


After getting "Identity Crisis" stuck in my head, I had to listen to this again. Popped it in the player, skipped over "Phoenix Ignition", and accidentaly discovered that "To What End?" was probably my favorite Thrice song ever. Its lyrical content stands at a sharp contrast to songs like "Betrayal is a Symptom" on The Illusion of Safety and the music is just rockin. Also "A torch to end all torches" shows me Thrice had some metal in their system during the writing of this album. I wanted to explore more, but had to go to work....

Day 5

Well, maybe this album isnt half bad like I thought. "In your hands" suddenly is a great song, and "Unquestioned answers" as well as "Under par" are both really good. Identity Crisis is a very hopeful album, which is very different from 99% of music out there today. Dustins lyrics speak of being yourself, his faith in god and the human race, and his want for a revolution to occur in the human heart. Its powerful stuff, and while the vocals and music arent as glossy as they are in The Illusion of Safety its rough edges give it a much more open and live feel. I still dont like "Phoenix Ignition" though.

Day 6

"Ultra Blue" fills my heart with glee. Thats the kind of song I could listen to forever. I sing the ending chant all day. And "As the ruins fall" is really a poem by some famous poet dude! Thats just like "A living dance upon deadminds"! Continuity is nifty in my book. Now that I think about it..."Phoenix Ignition" really isnt that bad of a song.


LIKE A PHOENIX IGNITION! LIKE A CREMATORIUM! LIKE A SWELLING VOLITION FROM THE BARREL OF A GUN! FROM THE ASHES AND THE EMBERS, LIKE A ROCKET ILL ASCEND! LIKE A CRY GONE UP FOR A FALLEN FRIEND!!! Damn I love "Phoenix Ignition". In fact, I love this whole album! From the heaviness of "A torch to end all torches" to the bright cheery "Ultra Blue", there is something for everyone on this CD! Although I cant remember what track 7 sounds like....and that Dragon Ball Z reference still kinda bothers me, I can honestly say that ths is one of my favorite CD's!


This is a great album. I still like The Illusion of Safety a bit better, but Identity Crisis is different enough from its follow-up to warrant a purchase. Its very inconsistent, and those wheened on newer Thrice material might not like this at first. But give it a chance and it will grow on you. I know it did to me.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS- "Phoenix Ignition" "To What End?" "Ultra Blue"