Thrice – Beggars

thrice-beggarsArtist: Thrice
Album: Beggars
Genre: Rock
Label: Vagrant

Few bands have been as influential in the age of “digital music” as Thrice. Coming from their hardcore roots and albums like The Illusion of Safety, these guys have defined “evolution” on every release they have put out. Now, coming off the experimental Alchemy Index, the band returns with their latest album, Beggars, and once again, they simply amaze.

Starting a bit heavier than they left off last time, “All The World is Mad” is a slow burning fire of a song with a swirling atmosphere that collides with straight chugging guitar lines and Kensrue’s signature voice. Dustin sounds near prophetic throughout the record which is only surprising in that it’s taken to this point for the inflections to appear as he’s been considered to be a prophet of sorts since The Artist in The Ambulance. However, to those of you not big on the religious aspects of Thrice music, and I know some of you have that complaint, have no worries, it’s not preaching, just the same metaphorical Thrice style as always.

It seems odd to touch on “The Weight” as it’s the one song everyone’s been talking about for awhile, but it’s a stunning track with each and every listen. I feel this track is the perfect balance of “old” and “new” Thrice. It has the heavier elements, but with the mature songwriting we’ve seen on the later releases. In fact, it nearly sounds like a bonus track from the album that many say split “old” and “new,” Vheissu. This is not an oddity though as both “Doublespeak” and “Wood and Wire,” pull memories from the earlier records while keeping the writing extremely mature for the group.

The real clincher for this album lies at the very end. Three near perfect tracks round out this album and they each take on a life and personality of their own. “Talking Through Glass/We Move Like Swing Sets” brings a youthful speed to the record with Dustin’s crooning constantly walking the line between clear and raspy. Almost as if he’s fighting to restrain his own passion. Next, “The Great Exchange” is reminiscent of a more relaxed b-side from the Water disc of The Alchemy Index. It’s moody, mellow, and deep. You feel adrift throughout the song and it’s not until “Beggars,” the closing track, that we’re pulled from the water and set on dry ground. In classic Thrice style, this closer not only disappointments, but begs you to keep coming back to it over and over. It begins with the soft croon of Kensrue and a guitar and slowly builds before going nearly silent and coming in with the same epic poise as the “chorus” to “Sowing Season” by Brand New before finishing up and as the distortion overcomes the headphones, all you’ll be able to think is simply, “Wow.”

Thrice have come further than almost any band in the past decade. Their music is a symbol for evolving while doing what you love and staying true to your roots. The elements people love about Thrice now are the same reasons we fell in love with them in the first place and I can only think of a few bands who have fans that can claim that. Beggars finds a perfect balance between heavy and soft while maintaining a level of songwriting only Thrice can reach. It’s deep and thought provoking while being entirely enjoyable to simply listen to. An instant “album of the year” contender.

Score: 9.5/10

James Shotwell
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One Response to “Thrice – Beggars”

  1. tyler h says:

    I got the pre-order w/ the litho :)