Very few bands out there today have as strong of a discography as Thursday.
Waiting. Full Collapse. War All The Time. A City by the Light Divided. Common Existence. No Devolución.
I get crazy goosebumps just reading through that list. I can’t even begin to imagine how it must have been to live in the band’s home base of New Brunswick, New Jersey during their early years (1997-2000). I’ve read about basement and house shows, and the thought that one of my all-time favorite bands were getting their start somehow, just like any other small time band that has ever come and gone, is an alien thought to me.
A City by the Light Divided was released three years after what many consider to be the band’s best release, War All The Time. “O.G.” fans of the band look to either Full Collapse or their full-length debut Waiting as the band’s greatest work. I respect this opinion, but as someone who heard their newer, more “polished” records first, the rawness of their first two releases for whatever reason didn’t appeal to me as much as WATT.
Where WATT attempted to polish unprocessed ire and angst, ACbtLD sees the band make its first attempts at trying to sound “pretty” – in an edgy way, of course. This musical transformation succeeds a couple times (“The Lovesong Writer” and “Autumn Leaves Revisited”) but also stumbles with a noticeably out of place track (“Running from the Rain”).
As it was on WATT (“Asleep in the Chapel”), lead vocalist Geoff Rickly writes a lot about love, death, and religion. In terms of its production, ACBtLD is muddy – but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Tim Payne’s bass tone is gnarly levels of fuzzed throughout. “Autumn Leaves Revisited” might be the most emotional song the band has ever written.
There are a lot of pros for this record, so I don’t understand the amount of message board/forum vitriol or shoulder-shrugging apathy about it. It’s certainly not my favorite Thursday record, but it’s close.
Standout tracks: “The Other Side of the Crash / Over and Out of (Control)” and “Autumn Leaves Revisited”
Weakest track: “Running from the Rain”
RIYL: Post-hardcore, hardcore, emo. Fugazi, United Nations, Glassjaw, Thrice.