Thrice – Palms
Released: OUT NOW
Dustin Kensrue // Vocals
Teppei Teranishi // Guitar
Eddie Breckenridge // Bass
Riley Breckenridge // Drums
Upon pressing play on Thrice’s new album, Palms, you will be forgiven for mistaking it for the Stranger Things soundtrack. Opening song “Only Us” begins with moody synths, pulsing into your ears, before lead singer Dustin Kensrue reassures you this is indeed Thrice. The drums and guitars layer onto the synth, building and building to the point of breaking, before exploding in the final seconds. It’s a ferocious opening track. Flawless honestly.
“The Grey” follows up this moody number by somehow managing to combine the past and present of Thrice into a singular song. The massive choruses of previous album To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere are here, but combined with some of the more mathy elements of their post-hardcore past. It simply cannot be overstated how good drummer Riley Breckenridge is as he weaves around the snarling vocals of Kensrue.
“The Dark” is just a flawless example of mood. Each instrument introduced builds upon each element of the song. From the moment it opens with the slow foreboding acoustic guitar chords, it just sucks you into the depths, with Kensrue‘s vocals dragging you deeper and deeper into this world of mood and unconventional structures. The three-minute mark bringing it all together in an explosion of sound, ripping you out of the darkness and into the atmosphere.
Subsequently, “Just Breathe” defies any expectations you may have formed at this point. Reintroducing elements not seen since their early career. The many elements of their post-hardcore past are on full display here as they weave a calming and beautiful song, aching with fragility and beauty in equal measure. The final cadence of “why don’t you stay” could break you. It’s jaw-droppingly beautiful.
The next two songs, “Everything Belongs” and “My Soul” seem as if they are in a contest with each other, in seeing which one will make you cry first. The former, opens with haunting piano keys, with some of the most emotional vocals Kensrue has ever committed to record. The electronics create the backbone of the song, creating a genuine lighter in the air moment, without ever coming off cheesy. The latter on the other hand recalls some of the softer parts of The Alchemy Index – haunting synth work abounds, while the drums and guitars create an evocative mood of light and shadow, while Kensrue’s vocals and lyrics take you on a deep, emotionally affecting journey.
Beyond the halfway mark, Thrice bring back the huge choruses of their previous album in the shape of “Hold Up A Light”. This song is completely geared to the live experience, with the bouncing chords and almost harsh vocals on the chorus. It’s sure to be a fan favourite in the near future.
Ending with the fragile, “Beyond The Pines” it’s just a perfect example of everything this album does so well, from the moody guitar chords and almost storylike lyrics. It’s poignant and emotionally evocative. You can literally hear Kensrue breaking and bearing his soul to the world. It’s everything Thrice is about.
Palms is not just music for some random day. It’s music for your soul. It’s music to break your heart too. It’s music to tell your friends about and share with them. You will never forget the first time you heard this album or how each song made you feel. Whether it’s sad or angry. This album has the kaleidoscope of your emotional journey.
You would do well not to miss it. Because this is album of the decade material.
Thrice – Palms Tracklisting
1. Only Us
2. The Grey
3. The Dark
4. Just Breathe
5. Everything Belongs
6. My Soul
7. A Branch In The River
8. Hold Up A Light
9. Blood On Blood
10. Beyond The Pines
Thrice – Palms is out NOW via Epitaph Records. Buy here.
Reviewed by: Kaydan Howison