There’s one things most people think when listening to a band’s new album for the first time: How does this stand against their last album? That’s a tough question to ask yourself when it comes to Thursday. So many people became polarized by ‘A City by the Light Divided’… either they loved it or hated it. Much of the album was experimental… from the production to the songs themselves. I, for one, held my breathe when I heard Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips) was producing once again. Well, be not worried, this album has everything old fans wanted and new fans will love. Haters, it’s time to let the grudge go… Thursday is back.
‘Common Existence’ kicks off with a bang! “Resuscitation of a Dead Man” begins and the album doesn’t let up. Swinging riffs abound, and Geoff Rickly’s vocals sound on. Yet, as good as he sounds, there are times that I question if there’s too much vocal production going on. That’s a question I continuously ask the whole album. And as much as I want to discredit the production, everything still sounds in the right places.
“Last Call” begins slow and climbs and climbs… it’s reminiscent of the great sleeper track “Jet Black New Year” off the ‘Five Stories Falling’ ep. You’ll be singing “Da, da, da-dah… da, da, dah” over and over. Trust me.
It’s not til the track “Time’s Arrow” that the band lets the listener up for air. It’s a bit of a breather from the previous tracks. Talk about backmasking in all it’s glory. Then right back into it, the rhythm section explodes with “Unintended Long Term Effects”. A two minute sonic blast with perfectly placed choruses.
One thing I noticed is how much the band have really implimented the keyboard into their songs this time around… “Beyond The Visible Spectrum” and “Subway Funeral” really stood out to me in terms of keyboard use; and after a few listens I have to hand it to keyboardist Andrew Everding… he really adds texture to these songs.
Closing out the album in true Thursday fashion is the amazing song “You Were The Cancer”. This song has everything any Thursday fan could want. If ever these guys were pioneers of the post-hardcore sound, it’s evident here.
I think this whole album serves as a reminder to those that forgot, Thursday are here and as vital as ever. There may be a million clones, but no one does it like Thursday. With ‘Common Existence’ we see a band that has weathered a storm(label disasters, internal problems, etc) and has come through the eye as a neolith standing stronger than ever before. Welcome back to the limelight.