Thursday is back, well, sort of. Sure, they aren’t back to the form of ‘Full Collapse’ that most fans pray they would return to, but they’re close, perhaps as close as they’ll ever come. Thursday doesn’t need to release another ‘Full Collapse’ because they don’t have to. Their knack for certain experimentations and musical progression make them who they are, and those qualities are no better represented than on their newest release ‘Common Existence,’ their fifth studio album to date and first with new label Epitaph.
‘Common Existence’ is a sonic cultivation of everything Thursday has done musically and endured personally to this date. It blends most of what the boys have done in the past together, and some of what they haven’t. Think of this new record as a combination of the unbridled, energetic passion of 2001’s ‘Full Collapse,’ poignant, heart-on-sleeve truthfulness of 2003’s ‘War All the Time’ and some of the atmospheric challenges and expansive soundscapes of 2006’s much maligned ‘A City By the Light Divided,’ as well as the bands’ personal struggles, including band infighting, near break-up’s, label troubles and band matriarch Geoff Rickley’s own demons, including depression and substance abuse.
The record is as personal as it is mechanical, maybe the most personal the New Brunswick, New Jersey quintet have ever been on record. It is also their most well-rounded album yet.
Rickly touches on a variety of topics through his songwriting, everything from a song about a fan who lost her family to Hiroshima related illnesses, experiences with a friend and his family members fighting overseas in Iraq (‘Friends In the Armed Forces’) to paying tribute to such literary icons as English novelist Martin Amis (‘Time’s Arrow’), American author and professor David Foster (‘Circuits of Fever’) and novelist and playwright Cormac McCarthy (‘As He Climbed the Dark Mountain’).
‘As He Climbed the Dark Mountain’ also appeared on last years’ split EP with Envy. And just in case you forgot since ‘War All the Time’s’ ‘This Song Brought to You By a Falling Bomb,’ leader singer Rickey reminds fans that yes, he still has excellent chops, on the sullen, ethereal ‘Time’s Arrow.’
With ‘Common Existence,’ Thursday returns to reclaim the limelight, while transcending the entire post-hardcore genre itself. This record cannot be overlooked; it might be considered their best release. Forget ‘A City By the Light Divided.’ If you are a Thursday fan who didn’t care for that record, you will love ‘Common Existence.’ Actually, even if you loved it, you will still love this.
Listen to: ‘Resurrection of a Dead Man,’ ‘As He Climbed the Dark Mountain’