16 February 2009
by Mischa Pearlman
Thursday have long been the unspoken heroes of the post-hardcore world, happy being quietly devastating on their own (relatively) small-scale terms as other bands have copied and cheapened their sound to ride the wave of mainstream success.
The world is such that this will probably never change – the New Jersey band may forever be destined to cult status and critical acclaim rather than the superstardom of some of their plagiarists – but it’s essentially irrelevant, because that’s the wrong gauge by which to measure things.
What counts is the music. With Common Existence, Thursday have responded to the last the only way they know how – by making what could well be the best album of their career so far.
Beginning with the siren call of ‘Resuscitation Of A Dead Man’, it pitches and reels at a hundred miles an hour, an ambulance out of control heading straight into the hospital walls. Yet the band never take their foot off the pedal, and over the course of the next ten songs what could well be the best album of the year charges head-first into tragedy.
The strings at the start of ‘Beyond The Visible Spectrum’, the no holds barred barrage of ‘Friends In the Armed Forces’, the quiet, acoustic murmurings of ‘Time’s Arrow’ – Geoff Rickly’s voice as powerfully fragile as ever – and the simmering, shimmering, sinister ‘Love Has Led Us Astray’ all come together to create a dense and epic album that’s more than just a collection of songs – it’s a mindset, a funeral, a broken heart, a dying body through a windshield in a car crash, still understanding everything.
Watch the video to ‘Resuscitation of a Dead Man’ by Thursday
There’s no faux angst here, just the brutal truth of darkness. It’s a terrific, terrifying thing – and as the chords of the stunning, final song, ‘You Were The Cancer’ ring out and fade into black, it’s clear that there will be no reprieve. Ever.
Perhaps that’s why Thursday will always be best left as the underdog. Because otherwise they wouldn’t make music this vital, this urgent, this brilliant. It’s selfish reasoning, but one listen to this and it all becomes clear.
Sounds like: early Jets To Brazil, every post-hardcore band that ever copied them, Boysetsfire
Top Tracks: Friends In The Armed Forces, Love Has Led Us Astray, You Were The Cancer
Thursday – Common Existence tracklisting
Resuscitation of a Dead Man – 3:21
Last Call – 4:03
As He Climbed the Dark Mountain – 3:01
Friends in the Armed Forces – 4:10
Beyond the Visible Spectrum – 3:59
Time’s Arrow – 4:13
Unintended Long Term Effects – 2:18
Circuits of Fever – 5:07
Subway Funeral – 4:18
Love Has Led Us Astray – 4:39
You Were the Cancer – 5:49