Californian rock band Thrice just released their brand new album, and tenth studio album overall, Palms, over two weeks ago via Epitaph Records. It is a good one.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Thrice is one of few bands who can say they have had the same lineup for their entire career. It is Dustin Kensrue on vocals and rhythm guitar, Teppei Teranishi on lead guitar, Eddie Breckenridge on bass and Riley Breckenridge on drums.
This whole album is an adrenaline ride, and gives a slight nod to some of their earlier material such as The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II and Vheissu. Thrice have been around for as long as they have because they manage to craft a unique identity with each album, but each remains consistent enough to know that it’s the same band. Teranishi and Kensrue are truly a dynamic duo. Their songwriting once again compliments each other’s parts beautifully.
The song “The Grey” is the first single from the album and the second song in the tracklist. The wailing guitars will grip your attention immediately, and Kensrue’s vocals are among the catchiest of his career. The second single and opening track, “Only Us” begins with an electronic piano and beautiful vocals from Kensrue laid out on top. This sound continues through the whole song even after the guitars and drums kick in, but it provides a nice complement to the song as a whole.
The third track is a slower song called “The Dark,” and it begins with a hauntingly beautiful staccato guitar. The song is slower and Kensrue provides an excellent vocal performance here. Next up is “Just Breathe” and has a very catchy guitar riff with excellent drum work behind it. “Everything Belongs” is the ballad of the record, and kicks off with a phenomenal piano piece, with excellent vocal melodies from Kensrue that really showcase his range.
“My Soul” has outstanding descending guitar arpeggios throughout the track, and has beautiful solo vocal performances from Kensrue. “A Branch In The River” is my personal favorite of the record. It is a frantic paced song that almost sounds like a holdover from The Artist in the Ambulance. Teranishi does his best punk impression and also has an impressive guitar solo in the middle of the track.
“Hold Up A Light” has a bit of a heavier indie rock sound, with more tasty guitar leads from Teranishi. “Blood On Blood” is a bit of an experimental track, with fast-paced yet soft guitars, more piano and a powerful vocal performance from Kensrue.
The final track is “Beyond The Pines,” and it is probably the most beautiful song on the album. Kensrue’s vocal performance here is his strongest of the album and the Breckenridge brothers do a fantastic job as a rhythm section. The drums and bass work as a great complement to the soft guitars.
Overall, this is yet another fantastic release by Kensrue and the boys and is a very worthy follow-up to To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere. That in itself is an accomplishment, as that album contains quite possibly the catchiest song on the planet in “Black Honey.” While the highlights of this album are by far Kensrue’s outstanding vocal performances and Teranishi’s catchy guitar riffs, the rhythm section does a great job of keeping everything together.
Parker’s Picks: “A Branch In The River,””The Dark,””Hold Up A Light,” “Only Us”