New Jersey post-hardcore act Thursday has a lot to be proud about. Being credited with bringing the screamo genre to the mainstream level as well as have been labeled in 2004 as SPIN magazine’s “The Next Big Thing” are just a couple of reasons why. This six-piece did not invent the screamo genre but rather took it to a new level. With all they have accomplished I can not believe they have been a band for just over ten years now.
Currently the band is about to release their fifth full-length album, entitled Common Existence. This time around the band has teamed up with the punk rock independent label Epitaph Records and hopes to continue to wow their fans while, at the same time, recruit new ones. The band will be headlining the Taste Of Chaos tour this year in support of their new release alongside rousing acts Bring Me The Horizon, Four Year Strong, Pierce The Veil, and the Cancer Bats.
Just in case you have no idea what screamo exactly is, imagine melodic emo music mixed with post-hardcore fury and occasional throat-destroying screaming throughout. Some find the music terribly annoying but there are many like myself who can not get enough. I just love the fragile, sorrow feel during some songs only to be smacked over and over with screams not many can endure. The first time I heard screamo was actually the first time I listened to Thursday’s debut with Victory Records called Full Collapse and I admit I was highly entertained.
I had already gotten a preview of the CD single “Resuscitation Of A Dead Man” earlier this year when the band streamed the song on their website, but it was not until this second helping that I realized how great of a song it is. Less screamo and more hardcore is all I can think about on this track that features Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath contributing vocals. “Last Call” follows with Geoff Ricky’s all-so-familiar, lamenting vocals.
Previously appearing on the band's 2008 split EP with Japanese hardcore band Envy was “As He Climbed The Dark Mountain.” The song hinted towards Thursday’s juvenile years with more of their signature screamo fashion but came with a twist as heavy distortion and pitch shifts dominated throughout.
“Friends In The Arms Forces,” which featured Quicksand’s Walkter Schriefels, seemed a little cut down from the other tracks on the CD but was still enjoyable. The song, inspired by the band member’s friendship with someone currently serving overseas, is a protest of the basis but full of wishes of protection as different emotions spiral throughout. “Beyond The Visible Spectrum” was very astray from the Thursday norm at times with a more mellow, mostly post-hardcore sound. As much as I want to say I was not getting into it, the truth is that indeed I was. I especially dug the reverb throughout the track and the sudden conclusion that left me wanting more.
“Time’s Arrow” was almost a whisper compared to everything else on this CD. The song started out ever so gentle and had this, dare I say, almost a Muse/Radiohead experimental style going on. I loved it. This song was the most untried song I have heard Thursday perform so far and I still crave more of it.
This album deserves to be listened to over and over again by old school fans of Thursday as well as by random newcomers. I myself can not keep Common Existence out of my CD player. The overall sound suggests that the band has taken a departure from the genre commonly attributed to them. It appears the one-time pioneers of screamo really focused on taking what they know and have expanded it with their musical creativity. The result is some really amazing songs, some of which I did not expect to hear.
It’s nice to see the band try something new while still holding on to their own uniqueness. Common Existence is ongoing evidence that Thursday continues to mature and, honestly, this album has turned me into an even bigger fan.