Southern California's Thrice, fronted by
guitarist Teppei Teranishi and
vocalist Dustin Kensrue, debuted in a
post-hardcore and "screamo" fashion with the
EP First Impressions (1999) and the full-length
Identity Crisis (Greenflag, 2000 - Posen, 2001).
By The Illusion of Safety (Sub City, 2002) the band was beginning to
morph into a more eclectic unit: while commanding respect among the legions
The songs indulged in magniloquent melodies, sleek production
and heavy-metal fury,
although the album as a whole seemed to be torn between their emocore roots and their
thus resulting inconsistent and leaving the impression of too much filler.
Deadbolt showed the way towards a more accessible future.
The Artist in the Ambulance (Island, 2003) was, again, torn between their
punk roots (The Abolition of Man, Paper Tiger)
and an emo-pop calling
(The Artist in the Ambulance, All That's Left).
That longstanding contradiction was finally resolved on
Vheissu (2005), a collection of mostly melodic and sophisticated songs
like The Earth Will Shake and Atlantic,
that also boasts electronic beats; even including a
jazz tribute (For Miles). However, thrice's music had become a miracle of
production more than anything else.
If We Could Only See Us Now (2005) collected rarities.
The Alchemy Index Vols. I and II: Fire and Water (2007) collected
two EPs dedicated to two of the four elements. If songs such as
Vheissu's mission of blending hardcore, metal and pop in emphatic
the anemic pieces of
such as the electronic Digital Sea
had little to do with their beginnings.
The Alchemy Index, Vol. III & IV: Air and Earth (2008) collects the
remaining two "elemental" EPs, the first one being the most "rocking" of the
series although still a far cry from their emotional peaks
(Broken Lungs, Daedalus);
and the second one being an atmospheric acoustic roots-music set
(Come All You Weary).
The four EPs represented a wildly eclectic forays in new territories.
Thrice's vocalist Dustin Kensrue debuted solo with Please Come Home (2006).
Beggars (2009) changed style one more time and toned down the pomp
of Vheissu and the pretentiousness of The Alchemy Index.
While a bit dreamy and intellectual, this is a bar band like many others.
The identity crisis peaked on Major/Minor (2011), whose songs never
quite feel complete, ranging from the punk-rock of Blur to the metaphysical
melodrama of Disarmed.
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