Often labeled as one of the original progenitors of the current "emo" movement, Thursday has survived "nu metal," the garage rock revival, and whatever other trends that ruled the day in their ten years of existence.
Their sound has always been hard to pinpoint, however. Some critics may call them emo or "screamo," others (like All Music Guide) describe their music as "soul-baring post hardcore." Like one-time peers At The Drive-In, they created an exciting and genre-defying type of punk-inspired rock the kids still love to this day. They have taken elements of punk, metal, and post-punk and blended them into four albums worth of rock, starting with 2000's Waiting and most recently with 2006's A City By The Light Divided.
The Kill The House Lights DVD has a career-spanning documentary that takes them through their early days in the late 1990s to the present. The crown jewel of the disc is a forty-five minute live concert from their hometown of New Brunswick, NJ in 2006.
It features fan favorites and other songs from most of their albums, including "Understanding In A Car Crash" and "Paris In Flames," both from 2001's groundbreaking Full Collapse CD, as well as newer songs like the intensely personal and religious-themed "Sugar In The Sacrament." Just watch singer Geoff Rickly work the crowd and join them as they sing out, "This is all we've ever known of God/Fight with me let me touch you now."
Watching this show, you will see why Thursday has gotten headlining slots on multiple Warped Tours over the years; their live show rallies fans to give out almost as much energy to the band as they give to them.
The audio portion of this release features twelve tracks, including about five new songs, the first of which should please older fans: "Ladies and Gentlemen: My Brother The Failure" is intense, hardcore, and sounds like it would have been a natural fit on one of the early albums.
Other tracks include a live version of "Signals Over The Air" – from the same 2006 Holiday show featured on the DVD – and a few demos, the oldest of which is "Wind Up," a song culled from Thursday's first four-song demo in 1998.
Overall, Kill The Houselights, which comes out in stores this week (Victory Records), is very highly recommended for anyone and everyone who got into Thursday's music over the years. There aren't many punk rock bands like them around, and though others have taken elements of their sound and diluted the post-hardcore genre, they give it respectability and a bit of originality too.
It may be Tuesday, but Thursday sounds good any day of the week.