So, personal bias incoming: as it can be (and is) with anything, there will be popular artists that othe people are super into that, for one reason or another, you either don’t understand or flat out don’t like.
For me, I could never get into Thrice. I wanted to like them, because I’m a sucker for all the bands and acts associated with them: Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, and mewithoutYou chief among them. But for one reason or another, it just didn’t work for me. I see the appeal. I can understand why they achieved the level of success that they did, and why people like them. It just wasn’t for me.
Perhaps it was because the two times I was “forced” to watch them open for other bands, I had a miserable experience. I gave them a chance, and even came to appreciate “All The World Is Mad” as a listenable song of theirs. But Thrice just don’t do it for me.
In spite of this, I decided to check out O’Brother, highly touted by the Thrice/ManOrch camps. I saw them open for MO in Orlando at the House of Blues right after the release of Mean Everything To Nothing, which ended up being a huge, sold out show.
They weren’t bad live. I paid close attention to their bassist with his wild, unkempt hair and fu manchu. They were heavy without being obnoxious, which is what I appreciated most. Deep bass tones, some cool guitar work, driving drums. The substance is there, certainly.
But I don’t know, man. I’m indifferent, and not just for the sake of being indifferent. Maybe Garden Window is a grower and I just haven’t properly… fertilized it (sorry).
I really like “Lo” and “Sputnik” which features Andy Hull on backup vocals. That said, I’m not crazy about much of this album. I read the album is akin to musical “scenery” – dim and dingy, etc. But Garden Window is at times a muddy quagmire.
It’s not that I think Thrice or O’Brother are overrated or poor musicians or lyricists or any of that. Like I said, I certainly see the appeal. It’s just not my thing.
Here’s one of the album’s highlights, “Lo” –
Standout tracks: “Sputnik (feat. Andy Hull)” and “Lo” – “Poison” is pretty good too.
Weakest track: Got this on a whim based on its musical cousins. Maybe you’ll dig it.
RIYL: Thrice, Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, Dear Hunter – that whole crew, really. The band is described as “alt-metal” but I don’t see that at all.