Thursday
"Common Existence"

(Epitaph 2009)Thursday - Common Existence

With each song taking on a title and further inspiration from writers and poets, you might think Thursday is going the way of The Smiths, Idlewild or any number of indie rock hipster bands. But the post-hardcore band from New Jersey returns to find their stride with "Common Existence," their first full-length release in four years and their first for Epitaph Records. Sure, there are some small tweaks here and there by way of producer/mixer Dave Fridmann (Mogwai, MGMT, Flaming Lips) but they serve only to increase the band's sound with dramatic layering.

From the first strains of "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" it's like they never left but it's the anxious pounding in your ear of "Last Call" when things start to get serious. A dreamy but heavy waltz spirals and spins over a lush musical landscape on "Time's Arrow" before Thursday, offering a more melodic take with toned down screaming and vocals, come out sounding completely different and yet completely like themselves on "Love Has Led Us Astray." On the track they strip much of their sound away to leave something that's lighter but that could never be called minimalist except for them.

Learn from my initial mistake and be sure to play Thursday's "Common Existence" on a good stereo, or at least listen with good speakers; the result is dramatically different as the dynamics will engulf you in a torrent of guitars and bury you under pounding drums that ricochet off the walls. The band's strengths, their adeptness with their instruments and their songwriting, are what makes "Common Existence" interesting and comfortable even if is somewhat excessively characteristic of Thursday.

B+

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