Thursday Send Critics Racing For The Lyric Sheets

Feb 17th, 2009 // 11 Comments

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a look at reactions to Common Existence, the Dave Fridmann-produced album from New Jersey post-hardcore outfit Thursday:

• “But ‘Friends in the Armed Forces’ is one of the most direct, and poignant, treatments of the country’s current wars that any rock band has yet attempted. Here, Mr. Rickly has finally looked beyond himself and has found a cause worthy of his anguish. ‘Another folding flag to a mourning mother/He was an Army of one but they’ll find another,’ he sings.” [Jon Caramanica, NYT]

• “On ‘Resuscitation of a Dead Man,’ Rickly sings, ‘Can you feel a pulse?/It’s been stopped for so long./Let’s restart it!’ I couldn’t sum up the album and its impact any better. [Drew Beringer, AbsolutePunk]

• “Common Existence is long on complicated instrumental textures and twisty-turny song structures yet woefully short on the fist-pumping melodies that keep this kind of stuff from sounding like musical math. As a result, tracks such as ‘Last Call’ and ‘Subway Funeral’ are easier to admire than to enjoy.” [Mikael Wood, EW]

• “The band wants to play art-rock, experimental hardcore, stormy pop, and some other beautiful and brutal stuff for which we don’t yet have labels, but they want to play it all at once, and so far they haven’t developed the musical competence to streamline their sonic pluralism into something fit for consumption.” [Matthew Cole, Slant]


  1. Anonymous

    What’s cool about this band is that long after the “Next Big Thing” tag wore off, they’ve continued making BETTER records.

  2. Anonymous

    @2ironic4u: Yeah, these guys have really improved with age. This new one is my favorite, they’re finally the musical juggernaut they’ve always been hinting at becoming.

  3. Lucas Jensen

    @2ironic4u: It’s the first one I’m even remotely interesting in hearing.

  4. rockstarjoe

    It is actually a pretty good album. Less “heavy” than their previous ones, but in a way that works well for them.

  5. Anonymous

    I agree – they really have gotten better, especially when compared to all of their ‘screamo’ peers…

  6. Anonymous

    @Lucas Jensen: My favorite is actually the one that preceded this, A City By The Light Divided (came out in 2006).

    Still, in terms of all the bands that drew attention during the “screamo” phase, Thrice still is above them all in terms of execution, songwriting and overall ambition.

  7. TheRunningboard7

    @2ironic4u: @Lucas Jensen: I was sold on War All the Time, mainly because I was reading a lot of Philip Roth and watching a lot of Kevin Smith, and you know what? I’m pretty sure that even though I’ve never been there, I think New Jersey sucks, too. Thanks, English professors.

  8. ConfidoBoyd

    Solid album, nearly a return to form. ACBTDL was very uneven and at times derivative of their older work.

  9. Janelleyo

    The only thing that bothers me here is the use of an APnet reviewer. Can’t we stray from giving them any sort of credibility?

    I loved War All the Time, and I just listened to Common Existence this morning. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but this record is a lot more raw and less over produced than some of their earlier ones. I haven’t found the catchy song yet, the one that sticks in my head so much that I detest it, and end up getting excited when they play it live (ie. Paris in Flames), but we shall see.

    @ConfidoBoyd: I completely agree. ACBTDL was kind of a strange departure from what makes them (to me) stand out.

  10. Anonymous

    Sorry guys, but I saw Thursday open for Rival Schools twice, and I have to say they were terrible. Every punk rock cliche’ was used. Hopefully they’ve improved, but the 2 nights I saw them, they reminded me of the emo version of Winger.

  11. RaptorAvatar

    I loved them around 2003-5 but there’s a lot of what they did then that I kind of outgrew/burned out on. I’m anxious for this one, however. It sounds like it might be one of those solid “hardcore jumps out a of a corner” records that have to come out every couple of years.

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