Monday, 30 March 2009

Review - Thursday - Common Existence

Thursday - Common Existence

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7 out of 10

After label issues and a resultant compilation album, a powerviolence influenced side project, and an (admittedly well received) stopgap split EP with Envy, we finally have a new Thursday album. Has it been worth the wait? Well, a few years ago, I might have said no. I always thought that while Thursday were quite good at what they did, what they did never really grabbed me. Call me shallow, but I needed my post-hardcore to have a selling point. Refused's samples, Coheed & Cambria's space epics, or even just HIFH's homegrown flavour gave me something to latch on to that Thursday's solid but unspectacular rock didn't. But in the intervening years, well I guess we've all grown up and moved on, and I suppose powerviolence and Japanese bands have helped us both.

If I'm being totally honest, I tried to write a track-by-track review for this, but my notes for most of the tracks seemed to come out along the lines of "quiet passage.builds to some crashing guitar work.esoteric lyrics...atmospheric keyboards", and no-one wants to read variations on that eleven times. However, listening to eleven variations of that doesn't seem to pose a problem. This CD has practically lived in my car stereo for a month and it's melodies have gradually burrowed into my brain. While the main body of most of the songs are built on the tried and tested quiet/loud dynamic, and Andrew Everding's keyboards do underpin a lot of the more relaxed passages (as well as some of the heavier sections), there are sufficient deviations and flourishes to keep it interesting. The slow-build of 'Love Has Led Us Astray' brought back memories of the last Crime In Stereo album, and the slide guitar break in 'As He Climbed The Dark Mountain' was an unexpected pleasure (although I'm not too sure about the PR blurb's claim of this being a first for post-hardcore since I seem to remember Deftones doing something similar). Actually, the Deftones seem to appear a few times in my notes, as 'Circuits Of Fever' borrows their echo-box vocals trick, while 'Time's Arrow' seems to exist at a strange intersection of a more sample-driven Deftones number and an (Noel-led) Oasis live acoustic number.

Unfortunately, a few of the tracks don't really bring anything new to the table ('Last Call' and 'Unintended Long Term Effects', for example), and Walter Schreifels' contribution to 'Friends In The Armed Forces' almost passed me by before I checked the liner notes (a shame on an otherwise great track). But despite these minor annoyances, I still keep hitting replay when the CD finishes. I suppose moving on can be overrated sometimes.


1. Resuscitation Of A Dead Man
2. Last Call
3. As He Climbed The Dark Mountain
4. Friends In The Armed Forces
5. Beyond The Visible Spectrum
6. Time's Arrow
7. Unintended Long Term Effects
8. Circuits Of Fever
9. Subway Funeral
10. Love Has Led Us Astray
11. You Were The Cancer

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