02 February 2009


I haven't posted any bands on here lately, and it makes me sad.

Thrice is a post-alternative-hardcore band (formerly em/screamo) from California. I started listening to them when they were on tour with UnderOath promoting their album Vheissu and Invisible Children*. The first Thrice song I heard was "Image of the Invisible"**.

During their earlier years, Thrice had a much more screamo feel, and, in my opinion, was probably one of the best bands in the genre. For example, take their song "Stare at the Sun" off of the album The Artist in the Ambulance.

The album Vheissu marked the turning point for Thrice's sound and lyrics, taking on philosophical and religious content, and interesting intros for songs (my favorite might be "Music Box", as simple as it is). The album probes ideas of inherent human worth, consumerism, God, and makes allusions to the teachings of Jesus, the story of Jonah, and overcoming the trials and tribulations of the world. The last song, "Red Sky", takes its name from the old maritime saying, "Red sky at night, sailors' delight; / Red sky in morning, sailors take warning," which is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 16.

Thrice recently released a four-part concept album, The Alchemy Indexs, Vols. I-IV. The album is a series of four six-track EPs, each corresponding to one of the classical elements, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Each of the six songs for each element are somehow related, and the style is meant to reflect the element. And in a very interesting motif, each volume ends with a sonnet in the Shakesperean style***. Volume I - Fire has a much harder sound, often with screamed vocals and distorted guitars. Volume II - Water has a electronica vibe, featuring synthesizers. Volume III - Air has a slower pace, with very simple instrumentation. Volume IV - Earth is almost entirely acoustic, with the exception of one song, "The Earth Isn't Humming", originally written by another band. And, perhaps not of any importance to anyone but me, the album art was drawn by the lead singer, and is in a very Medieval style, reminiscent of European woodcut prints.

"Digital Sea" - The Alchemy Index, Volume II - Water

"Come All You Weary" - The Alchemy Index, Volume IV - Earth

As mentioned earlier, Thrice is heavily involved in Invisible Children, and front man Dustin Kensrue recently recorded an interview with IC, along with Aaron Weiss of mewithoutYou and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot.

Rock on.

*This, incidentally, is how I got involved with Invisible Children.
**Unfortunately, Universal Music Group has disable embedding on all songs to which they hold the copyright. They can still be viewed on YouTube, and I have linked the song names to the videos. The videos I have posted were released on Vagrant Records, and thus, can be embedded.
***If it's been a while since you've taken an English class, Shakespearean sonnets have three quattrains and a rhyming couplet and are written in iambic pentameter.