REVIEW: Thrice – “Major/Minor”

Thrice / Major/Minor / Vagrant

We all know that feeling; that moment where you’re stuck in a crowd or listening to an album for the first time and a snippet of music grabs you by the neck and arouses your senses, causing a rush of inexplicable emotions. In that bewilderment is beauty, and Major/Minor is full of it. Two years ago, Thrice released Beggars, a record about progressive accessibility and a sense of sadness that was never captured before. Those two topics of conversation still stain the Irvine four-piece’s music as though Major/Minor slams with a 2005 temper, it still lets out ominous aches, just in a grittier way that’s exclamated by the group’s ability to sound more mature through a remarkable form of cohesion. Exhibit A on the record being “Call It In The Air”, a track that watches a graceful guitar lick play around Dustin Kensrue’s voice before the rhythm section adds a bit of depth and the chorus erupts, crashing into a mess of beautiful grunge tones. The movement is quick, detailed and direct.

The emotion Thrice never resist from exposing is their major strength; as Beggars conjured statements through Kensrue’s profound jump in lyricism, songs like “Blinded” and “Words In The Water” constantly let instrumental bits stab at your attention repeatedly, whether its Riley Breckenridge’s emphatic knock of the kit or a gentle fingerpicking sequence that carries the weight of melody and in turn makes one question the mental state behind it. Why does “Blur” channel so much ferocity but still feel the need to blend with a calm, agitated drop of experimental rock? Why is “Anthology” so uplifting and yet it leads into the most grim and disconsolate recording on the album (“Disarmed”)? The emotions used and subsequently disclosed on Major/Minor are questionable in regards to where they derive from but it’s too difficult to not become comfortable with them, thus making your own skin out of each thought a bass groove (“Promises”) and closing rhythm (“Treading Paper”) rallies. Usually overlooked, emotions mold the impression a record makes; it’s what causes words to manifest tears and more often relief. Major/Minor stitches together friendship with progression to flash raw ugliness and overcome the uncertainty to be personal. To Thrice it’s a pinnacle. To a critic it’s a keepsake. To a listener, Major/Minor is a release from the world around them that never seems to slow down. And without question, it has the power to be all three.

Download: “Call It In The Air”, “Words In The Water”, “Blur”


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  • Noel Bartholomew says:

    OK I see that you are more focused in your review then speaking about the band. There is nothing personal in this review that makes me think you are a listener of Thrice. Rewrite please. My favorite songs of this album are “Promises”, “Call in the Air” and “Treading Paper”. The “Cataracts” song sucks, the intro is annoying that sounds like a song they wanted to invent when they were in middle school. Thrice fan since 03′ never disliked a song until now. See you guys in SF at the Regency ballroom.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just have to ask the reviewer… how is “Disarmed” grim and disconsolate? Do you not understand it is a song about overcoming death? It has a Biblical reference: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Death was the enemy of man until its “awful jaws were sated” by the coming of Christ (it’s no news at this point that Kensrue is a strong Christian and his beliefs show strongly in his lyrics). It is in fact a very hopeful song that screams of triumph and victory. Amazing album.

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