Major/Minor - Thrice

Thrice rarely, if ever, disappoint.  I can't honestly say where my expectations were with this album.  I loved their last one, Beggars, but I have also loved everything they have put out since Vheissu (for the record I have always been a fan but Vheissu turned me into a super fan).  When they announced that the title of the new album would be "Major/Minor" I was a bit confused.  "What a random album title?" I thought.  One must admit that it doesn't roll off the tongue very easily.  Once I gave the album a once over, I completely understood why they gave the album that name and thought that it was very fitting.  Apparently the name references the back and forth nature from major chords to minor chords, and back again.

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.

The album closes with "Disarmed" which was an excellent choice.  The song closes out Major/Minor in a similar way that "Red Sky" closed out Vheissu, with a very epic and cinematic finish.  The lyrics that Dustin has written for this song really mix well with the movement of the song itself.  The song is about how death is not the end and that we will see our loved ones again.  Teppei's riff on the bridge after the second chorus, which turns into the outro, is one of the most beautiful moments on the entire album.  When listening to this song, one can't help but think of the loved ones that have been lost.  The song is a tad dark, but ends very hopeful.  That being said, I think the difference between a Thrice album, and most other music out there, is that it makes you feel something.  Yes, Dustin's lyrics speak to me personally and one can't deny his unmatched delivery, but the voices of the other three band members can be heard through music both as a whole and individually.  They are a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.  It is not a show of each person's chops, but you can also hear the expertise of each  member in parts that compliment the song.  The result is not only an album full of great songs, but it is a bunch of great songs that make up a cohesive album that is an enjoyable from start to finish.  As stated earlier, if the world was fair this album would start out at #1 on the charts and the band would be rock stars.  They will most likely have to settle for critical acclaim and year end top album honors.  As for this guy, the question isn't where does this album fit in with other albums this year (its clearing the best album of the year), it is where does it fit in with the rest of their catalog.  Vheissu has long been been favorite album by Thrice, but Major/Minor is making its case for being #1.


  • You'll have to let me have a listen. I always feel, though like Thrice is your generation's Yes. I don't quite "get them" the same way you do.

  • You will definitely have to give this one a listen. It is their most accessible album to date in my opinion. I don't know if they have or ever will reach the notoriety, fame, or success of Yes, but I am sure they would take that as a compliment. Also, few people get them like I do. Its weird to not be able to fully describe why you like the specific sound of a certain band, especially when that band's sound changes from album to album.

  • I meant it as a sort of compliment. The members of Yes are great musicians, and I fully appreciate that. I guess when there are lyrics I like to be able to understand what the heck they're talking about. Yes just rambles on, and on, and on....Zzzzzzz.... And that's precisely why guys like them - it's great music about nothing. Thrice is kind of like that for me. Too ramble-y. I know their musicality is excellent, but I just love me a snappy lyric. And I know that distresses you. But to each his own, I say. Music, like any art form, is extremely relative.
    I can't believe you laughed at my bike riding pain. You should see the bruises. They're quite impressive.

  • I appreciate your thoughts and opinions but I can't help but disagree. You are totally right about Yes. Very jamming and boring, but great musicians. I honestly don't think of Thrice as a musicians band or jammy at all for that matter. Most of there songs clock in at about 3 to 4 minutes. They definitely are not a band that writes that catchy hook that you like, but I don't think they are a jam band either. Most of the stuff that I have given you is off of Alchemy Index which is a concept album and not really an accurate picture of them as a band. This new one, as well as there last one, is more of something I think you would be in to. I will burn them both for you and you can let me know.

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