Review : Thursday - No Devolucion
SputnikmusicWhether or not the comparisons are fair, Thursday’s No Devolución transports me back to 2005 when Thrice overhauled their sound with Vheissu, or when Brand New suddenly grew up, realized life’s futility, and screamed about it on The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. It would be unfair to hold Thursday in the same regard considering that not even a full year has transpired since its release, but in terms of the evolution’s pure magnitude, this album proves that they belong in the conversation. Just like how Thrice went from post-hardcore nuts to alt-rock experimentalists, Thursday went through a nearly inconceivable growth spurt of their own. 2009’s Common Existence prophesized No Devolución’s arrival, but it was nowhere near as well-executed and it lacked the atmosphere to propel the band to greatness. That’s where Thursday’s latest record comes in, rewarding loyal fans with the best and most inspired work of their career.
No Devolución is a brilliant fusion of post-hardcore, emo, and alternative rock that takes all of the flashes of maturity from previous albums and conjures up something profound and seamlessly atmospheric. The leap in progression is startling, as the opener ‘Fast to the End’ swirls around you in ominous clouds of grey, not unlike the album’s artwork. Rapid and varied drum patterns drive each song, covering them in a thick, muggy air along with singing/screaming/humming vocals and technical riffs that are heavy on the reverb. It is worth noting that No Devolución was recorded in one week, and the resultant chemistry can be felt during every transition. Cohesiveness plays a large role on this album, tying everything together under one dark, sprawling umbrella that refuses to resign itself to redundancy at any point. Each song has something unique and identifiable only to it: the chorus to ‘No Answers’, the minimalist soundscape on ‘Empty Glass’, the horn intro of ‘A Gun In the First Act’, and the raucous screams of ‘Turnpike Divides’ are but a few instances of the changes Thursday implement to keep things fresh. Simply put, there is no time to drift off during No Devolución – it’s a distinguished, full throttle tour-de-force of alt-rock with enough ideas to keep you captivated and enough emotion to get you attached....full text
AbsolutepunkHonestly, we all should have seen this coming from Thursday. They've been dropping hints of a more atmospheric and textured sound in their records over the past five years (A City By The Light Divided, their split EP with Envy, and Common Existence). So anyone who is saying that their new album, No Devolución, is a new beginning or rebirth just hasn't been paying attention. The common Thursday traits are still present: Geoff Rickly's not-perfect-yet-so-perfect croon, distorted guitars, thick instrumentation, and, of course, Rickly's poignant lyrics. What's different is that No Devolución isn't as abrasive as Thursday albums past, rather it's soaked in luscious, experimental tones and dark melodies.
The band has never sounded this synchronized as a unit, as each song is the perfect blend of atmospherics and vocals, which can be attributed to the sextet's relationship with prodcuer Dave Fridmann, now three albums deep. With this kind of trust between band and producer, it's no surprise that this is their most dynamic album. Take for example the opening track, “Fast To The End,” a huge track that is undeniably Thursday yet you immediately notice a tone that is undeniably not Thursday, as this track balances both aspects to ease listeners in. What follows is arguably the best track on No Devolución, the luscious, synth-led “No Answers.” The beautiful layered walls of noise created by keyboardist Andrew Everding (this track is the beginning of his coming out party) and clean, chiming guitar work from Tom Keeley and Steve Pedulla swell up to create the pinnacle of the track, only to come crashing down to the gentle outro that Rickly hauntingly croons over....full text
ThenewreviewWhen experiencing a near-death scenario most subjects describe a moment of release, a letting go. No Devolución is Thursday as one such subject; accepting their fate and ceasing to struggle with the overwhelming current of progression that has been ever-present throughout their 13 year career. Over the past two albums the strain of attempting to hold onto what was just made more of a mess out of the inevitable: the fighting was finished, the past a distant memory. No Devolución is the first chapter of a former being, dead and gone.
This is not the Thursday of Full Collapse, War All the Time or even more recent releases such as A City by the Light Divided and Common Existence; this is a fresh spirit within a familiar body. Angular riffing and those trademark ‘front and center’ vocals of ever-passionate front man, Geoff Rickly, have been replaced with swathes of atmosphere or have sunken into the mix. Here, the band functions as a synchronized unit. The strings of Tom Keely, Steve Pedulla, and Tim Payne emit a tone steeped in their classic sense of urgency, although take on a demeanor that could be described as curious, yet edgy. Tucker Rule’s drumming is both tasteful and snappy, while keyboardist Andrew Everding takes on an increasingly pivotal role within the outfit and throughout the course of No Devolución as the group devotes much of the album’s duration to navigating sonic textures, adapting when necessary to collect each note and scream in an appropriate, fitting manner.
All of this – the bolder experimentation and sonic tweaking (most notably due to the fingers of Everding) – results in an overarching mix that could be best considered dreamy. Understandably, this haziness could give a claustrophobic impression to a handful of listeners upon initial spins of the record but in actuality, washes over the material with a brooding and introspective ambiance that only adds to the depth of the experience. Quite frankly, this is nearly an hour of engaging music that doubles as an inadvertently moving journey.
Refuse to be taken aback when the surrounding world blends into the background after pressing play. Connect with the heartache of Rickly on “Empty Glass” as he proceeds to reluctantly reflect on a love lost alongside sparse instrumentation with barely an influx in his all too relatable narration. Stand within what seems to be a stone’s throw from the group during the bleak and somber “A Darker Forest.” Contemplate a life worth living as the cathartic “Sparks Against the Sun” unfolds with swells of those ever present keys and Rickly crooning, “In the light of day/we will disappear/like little sparks against the sun/no one remembers where they begin/or where we end.” This is a Thursday that refuses to open up their collective heart without ripping out the audience’s in return....full text
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