Album Review: Thrice, Major/Minor

Thrice‘s new full-length album, Major/Minor, cracked the curtain back in September of 2011. Following up quickly on the success of 2009’s Beggars, the Southern California quartet brought more distorted guitars and less ambient sounds to their eight disc.

Musically, Major/Minor hits hard with “Yellow Belly” and rarely lets up. The Breckenridge brothers (Eddie and Riley) lay down solid rhythm and bass while Teppei Teranishi’s guitars sing behind Dustin Kensrue’s growling vocals and less-is-more rhythm work. All of the songs are strong, and musical highlights include the winding leads of “Treading Paper,” the mellow atmospherics and driving chorus of “Words in the Water,” and the opening riff of the lead track, “Yellow Belly.”

As powerful as Thrice’s songwriting and musical craftmanship are, however, Kensrue’s lyrics and vocal range get most often overlooked. Alt-rock outlets chomp at the bit to spill e-ink over Thrice’s raging guitars, but Dustin’s lyrics carry the thinker’s weight over the music. The domestic abuse of “Yellow Belly,” the divorce-happy culture of “Promises,” the self-righteousness of “Blinded,” and the life-or-death decisions of “Call It in the Air” provide ideas that are more than worth discussing. But who’s listening to the words, right?

Having seen the band on the latter half of the Beggars tour, I was excited to hear the new album performed live when the band dropped by the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro on October 11, 2011. And, as always Dustin, Teppei, Eddie, and Riley didn’t disappoint. They raged for an hour and a half, covering seven of the eight albums in a post-hardcore tour de force. Oh yeah, and at least some of the fans knew the words.

We sang along.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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