Thursday: No Devolución
When I think of Thursday, I always think of the days of Island Records, when Thrice and Thursday were simultaneously signed and released their “radio” records, eventually to leave the majors and go back to doing music that is and always will be their own. “Vheissu” and “A City By The Light Divided” are, respectively, each band’s creative turning point albums; and now, both Thrice and Thursday are two of the most revered bands I have in my collection.
I absolutely loved the atmospheric, dark, and monstrous direction the band took on “A City…”, and appreciated the returned accessibility of “Common Existence”–but on “No Devolución,” the feeling is entirely different. Devolución is an album that sounds defining and complete, an album representing a refreshed fulfillment of creative thought and exploration. Where “A City” touched on the grandiosity and atmospheric while lacking production value and “Common Existence” revealed a return to form while lacking cohesion, Devolución is characteristically synergetic. Devolución is, perhaps, Thursday’s ultimate record, encapsulating powerful dynamics with soaring vocals and whispery “Rickly rants” in the form of sporadic chanting.
Devolución showcases the band’s ability to refine textures almost flawlessly; some songs have pianos tied seamlessly in the mix, some bury synths. Rarely does Rickly’s voice become too much (as was the case on a few songs on “Common Existence”)–it’s a perfect balance of sincerity and intensity. The slow falsetto on “False Glass” sounds decidedly desperate; the shrieks on “A Gun in the First Act” are nicely mixed with the crashing guitars and crescendos.
It’s not really right to say that Thursday have truly re-discovered themselves; they’ve been exploring this territory for years. What can be said is that Thursday have found a synergy that’s been less apparent on prior efforts–and have fused their epic tendencies with the hooks and layers of noise in a way that is entirely gratifying.— Andrew Martin, 04/01/2011