Review: Thrice

Leslie Ethridge

Only a year after the success of “The Alchemy Index,” post-hardcore innovators Thrice have released their newest LP, “Beggars.”

 Their first full-length album since 2005’s “Vheissu,” “Beggars” is in a category all its own, and Thrice has once again amazed fans with their ability to create music that is more diverse than ever before.  

“Beggars” continues to display the different styles seen in “The Alchemy Index,” their four-volume set released as “Fire,” “Water,” “Air” and “Earth,” which established Thrice as a talented band with the ability to combine their post-hardcore style with electronica and alternative.

Their ability to go beyond their designated category is no less evident in “Beggars.”   It contrasts every album Thrice has previously recorded with a different sound that was created by combining all the elements of their influences.  The four band mates, Dustin Kensrue, Teppei Teranishi and brothers Eddie and Riley Breckenridge, established “Beggars” early on as an album they would make for themselves.  

Produced by Teranishi, the band’s lead guitarist, and written by Kensrue, the band’s lead vocalist, “Beggars” is solemn in both lyrics and melodies.  The opening track, “All the World is Mad,” sets the mood for the entire album with the lyrics: “Something’s gone terribly wrong with everyone/All the world is mad/Darkness brings terrible things; the sun is gone/What vanity!”

Alongside the lyrics, the guitar riffs developed by Teranishi are all beautifully complex. Breckenridge’s drumming is creative, driving forward the voice of Kensrue.  Each song has been intricately recorded to match the sound the band wanted to create, different from the harsh melodies of “Fire” but as lyrically depressing as “Water.”

Most evident in “Beggars” are the influences each member has incorporated.  At the end of “In Exile,” it is easy to recognize a Coldplay worthy sound that would never be expected of Thrice.  Similarly, the vocals on “The Great Exchange” hold a similar melody to Radiohead’s “Nude.”  But least expected of Thrice were the literary influences featured in the album.  While the title “Beggars” gets its name from Martin Luther’s final words, the track “Doublespeak” contains words from C.S. Lewis and George Orwell.

Overall, the entire album is as meditative and haunting as “Water” and as vibrant as “Earth” but lacks the mainstream catch of 2002’s “Artist in the Ambulance.”  While “The Alchemy Index” may have put Thrice on the map as more than just a grunge post-hardcore band, “Beggars” expands on their talent.  It showcases the band’s ability to progress in an upward direction while never fearing that the band has to stay in the confines of one genre.