(Vagrant Records 2009)Thrice - Beggars

Let’s take a quick walk through the life cycle of a modern rock band. Successful breakthrough album, sophomore slump, junior reinvention, and then the gradual fade out. A formula that tends to plague many-a-group, slurring a sea of them together under the same umbrella. Thrice step well past this cycle and out from under that umbrella with “Beggars,” their seventh LP that still manages to reach new and exciting depths despite their long run. The wail of Thrice front man Dustin Kensrue immediately distinguishes itself through scraggly hissing guitars scattered over heavy rock beats, laying the groundwork for the melodies to follow.

Opening track “All the World is Mad” announces itself in the form of a badass drum and distorted bass intro that kicks in the front door and demands to be heard. What follows is a darkness which falls over the remainder of the record as Kensrue howls "darkness breeds terrible things; the sun is gone" over screeching yet ever-so-soothing grungy guitars. “The Weight” picks up right where its predecessor left off; a clean twang meets gritty rock noise and Kensrue's empty vocals, and a syncopated snare quickly takes over, driving the tune into a mayhem of clicking sticks and ridiculousness. All doubts are put to miserable shame as "Beggars" rocks forth into the darkness with the hammering piano chords of “Doublespeak,” complete with alternating tambourine verses and flaring open hi-hat chorus breakdowns that would bring out the animal in even the tamest of souls.

Thrice have managed to keep the creative juices flowing plentifully with “Beggars” it seems, by carefully crafting their own brand of modern introspective rock without the influence of an outside producer. They do so with a desire to constantly break the mold; to challenge their sound in a way that only they themselves can do. When Kensrue croons “I’ll never call this place my home, I’m just passin’ through,” he ain’t messin’ around. Note to future rock bands: you can stand under their um-ba-rella anytime…ella…ella…ay, ay, ay.


buy it!