The album starts off with "Yellow Bellow" which sports a riff that is dirtier than a hobo's underwear. I can't say enough about how well this riff sounds against Riley's drum beats. In fact that is the case with practically the entire album. I have always been a fan of Riley's drumming but he has definitely taken it up a notch this time around. It really drives the entire album especially on tracks like "Promises" and "Call it in the air" (the little bridge after the first chorus sports some of my favorite drumming on the album). On "Call it in the air" the major/minor back and forth is really showcased.
There are a number of little gems on this album that make so much fun to listen to. I never in my life thought Thrice would write anything that sounded like a Fugazi song and yet they do here with "Cataracts" and pull it off gracefully without it sounding like a rip off. The opening riff on "Treading Paper" sounds like something off of a Pink Floyd record and yet doesn't sound out of place with the rest of the song. Of course there is also "Blur" which is easily the fastest and most aggressive song on the album. "Blur" is also propelled by Ed's bass lines. The slides he does in the chorus really give the song a bit of heaviness that would have otherwise been missing.
The strongest song on the album would have to be "Words in the Water" which is the closest thing that Thrice has ever gotten to a power ballad. If modern radio was what it should be, this song would be a #1 hit and Thrice would selling out the Honda Center instead of playing two shows at HoB Anaheim. The thing about pretty much every Thrice release though, is that even the pedestrian songs ("Blinded" and "Listen Through Me") end up being better than most bands best songs and sometimes end up being my favorite listens on the album and/or live ala "Lost Continent" from The Alchemy Index.