After releasing the incredible journey into the subconscious of a
group of musicians otherwise known as The Alchemy Index, alternative
geniuses Thrice had some rather large shoes to fill. But seeing
as how it was THEIR shoes, it wasn't too difficult to set up another
impressive collection of songs. And with the album Beggars
we've all got another chance to see the next step for Thrice.
From the beginnings of Identity Crisis and filtered through
to The Alchemy Index, you'd be hard pressed to find another
band that has pushed as many creative and personal boundaries as this
quartet. Up to Vheissu, their style was more on the focus of
fast tempos, insane guitars and harsh vocals. But when The Alchemy
Index made its debut, it introduced the world to a different side
of Thrice. Each volume showed just a little more of exactly what they're
capable of. For Beggars it feels as though the band took in
the emphasis previously felt in the Water and Earth
EP's. There's complete sanity here, as well as a nice selection of
passion filled music.
If there was such thing as a guitar dance, I would expect it would
sound something like that heard in the opening sequence of "All
The World Is Mad." It may be a simplistic set of notes, but the
melody in which they are played and the pairing that the bass takes
with the lead is perfection. Your imagination could take the two stringed
instruments in a sequence of steps circling around Dustin (lead
vocals). "The Weight" is a little less like a dance and
a little more like a march. The rhythm is timed just so, as though
each member was reminiscing of high school band practice when writing
this song. The vocals are so crisp and clear, that when the chorus
comes in you feel as though your gut is wrenching right along with
the words. Now, when you get down to the track "In Exile,"
something instantly takes you back to a time of The Alchemy Index:
Earth. But with this Earth, there's a bit of a twist. The song
has that same nice ambient feeling, yet its set a to a solid rock
tempo, which is a bit faster than the aforementioned EP. The lyrics
complete the experience when they seem to tell a story of a drifter
and his struggles. If you're like me, a person who tends to lose herself
in certain music, then you're going to lose yourself in "The
Great Exchange." The instrumental elements are so light and delicate,
that though they carry the song, they fail to ever overpower. And
finally with the vocals set at lullaby level, everything is perfectly
balanced. The album ends with the title track and though this is actually
a pretty uncommon place for the track, it's quite fitting for these
boundary pushers. If blues is what you want, blues is what you'll
get with this final number. Blues done Thrice style that is. Full
of hurt and angst, the song peers through, complete with both long
drawn and brutal sneering guitar chords. The song may come in soft
and sweet, but it sure gnarls its way out at the end.
After just over 43 minutes, the appreciation for Thrice and their
music grows just a little bit more. They're a band that has a distinct
sound, yet they never make the same album twice. It's as though they
take some of the elements from pervious albums and either build from
them or learn from them. Either way Beggars is definitely one
for the Thrice collection.
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