Thrice, Palms

Thrice was an important band for me in high school and college. When Identity Crisis (2001) came out, “Torch to End All Torches” was the song I remember most on snowboard trips from Moorpark College to Mountain High (I think that was the year a few friends and I had our season passes snatched for going off trail on the ONE powder day to ever hit Mt. High). The Illusion of Safety (2002) and The Used’s self-titled album were the two albums I remember most during my year in Isla Vista. Even though I was in city college at the time, that was THE college party year for me, and the CD was on constantly at our shitty apartment in IV (The Meadows on Abrego Rd.). I feel like most of my closest friends were all on a Thrice kick right around the same time, and I’m not sure that will ever happen again. In 2003, The Artist in the Ambulance was released, and a line was crossed. Thrice’s talent had almost caught up with their songwriting. Still a little sloppy, but such a fun album…and then, out of nowhere, Thrice released what I still consider one of the best hard rock albums of all time, Vheissu. Four albums in, and Thrice had secured themselves a special place for me. If a band releases four good albums, each at a critical point in my adolescence/young adulthood, I will stay appreciative regardless of what comes afterwards. Thrice followed up these four with plenty to keep the band fading from relevance for me (The Alchemy Index 1-2 & 3-4, Beggars, and Major/Minor). I was almost 30 now, and the college party days were long gone. I could count on one hand which friends were still following Thrice at that point. But, damn…that’s 7 solid albums from ONE band (8 if you count The Alchemy Index as 2). I can be nothing but grateful for finding Thrice at a young age, and being able to listen to an album of theirs now, and have it take me back to days from my late teens to late twenties. I completely missed To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere, but figured I owed it to myself and to Thrice to choose Palms for my album of the month. For all the good times Thrice has given me, I will always commit to choosing their new full length for as long as they make music going forward, but my guess is, I’ll be disappointed based on where they are headed with Palms. I get it…I’m not 23 anymore, and neither are they. A band’s sound naturally evolves and matures. But, Palms is boring. Vheissu was the peak. Vheissu had fangs. I do not think Palms is horrible by any stretch. Kensrue’s voice is as good as ever. “Only Us” was a great opening track! The finish to “The Dark” is clever utilizing the group backing vocals, the ending with “no we’re not going to sit in the dark anymore” is almost inspirational. “My Soul” is a good slow song. But it’s almost as though there are zero peaks on this record. There’s not one moment on the album that gets me fired up where I crank it and scream the lyrics. I miss when Thrice had teeth. Maybe their Vheissu teeth from ‘05 will come back? Doubtful, but regardless, thank you Thrice! Your discography is already so important to me!

Pat FisherComment