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It is clear that Thrice are a band that never shy away from artistic progression. Fans and music industry people alike were left scratching their heads when the band announced that they were going to release a four part concept album experimenting with electronic music, folk music as well as polishing their trademark aggressive melodies. ‘The Alchemy Index’ proved to be a raving success, with nothing feeling out of place, and although most of the songs are so far removed from what Thrice have become known for, they all seemed genuine.

The biggest test for Dustin, Riley, Teppei and Eddie was to come back to the table and deliver an album that meshed all of these influences together or to explore new territory completely. The result is “Beggars”, a slightly more “upbeat” album compared to their previous two efforts (according to lead singer, Dustin Kensrue) that at a first glance seems to lack that the urgency and raw passion that is so blatant in tracks like “The Earth Will Shake” and “For Miles” from 2005’s, “Vheissu”. Further listens have unearthed a few gems, but it seems that Thrice have followed on from when the “Air” and “Earth” disk from “The Alchemy Index” have left off without evolving beyond what seems to have become the bands new stomping ground.

1. All The World Is Mad
2. The Weight
3. Circles
4. Doublespeak
5. In Exile
6. At The Last
7. Wood & Wire
8. Talking Through Glass
9. The Great Exchange
10. Beggars
Instores 18th September


[Order A Copy Now Here]

Review by : Deborah Konopnicki

The CD kicks off with the first single, a very funky track called “All The World Is Mad”, driven by some very distorted bass and strumming guitar. It’s clear from the get go that this CD has a very different vibe to past records. Dustin’s croon adds an extra dimension to the chorus which is pretty much guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days. Such is the brilliance of Thrice’s song writing.

The Weight” could have been plucked right off the “Earth” disk from “The Alchemy Index”. It starts off with some very bluesy guitar and Dustin singing off in the distance. The end of the first verse welcomes the rest of the band as the song builds some momentum that remains pretty constant until the chorus, where the pace slows down slightly. The song has a very pleasant vibe to it. It doesn’t reach the heights of previous Thrice classics, but it is one of the stronger songs off the album. It gets stronger and more intricate as the song progresses.

Circles” is a softer number, setting an ambient tone. It is quite a beautiful song that seems to ‘wake up’ a little bit during the chorus. It’s very simple and stripped down, but it’ll get your head nodding.

Doublespeak” is a standout track on “Beggars”. It’s again, very different from anything they have produced before on an album. Piano is quite prominent in first verse, that’s quickly replaced by some dirty, distorted guitar in the chorus. Dustin seems to channel his soulful side, making this track quite grand.

In Exile” doesn’t grab my attention for very long. It can easily get lost amongst the other tracks. While musically it’s quite strong, the chorus lacks anything that it going to make me want to listen to it again once it ends. The bridge saves the song a little, building into a mash of guitars and soaring vocals.

At The Last” starts off sounding like it could be quite a fast and aggressive number, that takes a turn and slows down right before the first verse. Teppei really shines on this track. His guitar work in the opening creates an almost frantic vibe. The chorus is met with the same momentum as the start of the song. The track ebbs and flows, slowing down at points and slowly building up during the bridge to finish off just as powerful as it starts.

Wood and Wire” has a very intimate and almost live quality to it. The guitar is hauntingly soft and atmospheric. This seems to be one of the few sombre tracks on the record. With Dustin’s voice portraying quite a bit of hurt and sorrow. He seems to really be in his element with this earthy numbers as opposed to the harsh and sometimes brutal vocal performances from the past. This is another track that seems to build in the bridge that takes the song in another direction. Rather then being a ‘flash-in-the-pan’ ambient number, the track develops an epic quality that many people have come to associate with Thrice.

Talking Through Glass” is most definitely the heaviest song on this album. While it’s quite obvious that Thrice are slowly moving away from their past, this song possesses many elements from their earlier work, with the aggression from “Artist In The Ambulance, the epic feel of “Vheissu”, before unexpectedly ending with the pure and raw emotion of the ‘Earth’ disk from “The Alchemy Index”. This is the most complete song on the record, and demonstrates the bands ability to effortlessly mesh many elements together.

The Great Exchange” instantly reminds me of an earlier song off “Beggars”, which isn’t a good sign. It isn’t a spectacular song by any stretch, and I dare say it, feels a little bit like filler.

The album ends with the title track and the longest song on the album, “Beggars”. It’s another slow starting song that seems to sum up the entire album. Dustin’s vocals are again quite strong and raspy. The song has segments, and just gets stronger and stronger as it runs. It’s simple and atmospheric at times. The song slows down completely at the 3:30 mark with the entire build up leaving you feeling a little bit robbed, only to be slapped in the face by a droning ensemble of distorted guitars, powerful drums and driving bass.

While “Beggars” does feel slightly under whelming at first, it’s essential to realise that Thrice are never going to produce an album like “The Illusion Of Safety” or “The Artists In The Ambulance” or “Vheissu” again. Once you can move past this, you can really appreciate “Beggars” for what it is; ten very well written songs by a very talented band that continue to push themselves musically.
THRICE - BEGGARS [Instores 18th September] - Buy Online from Play4me.com.au [Here]
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