Thrice is at a sonic crossroads that few will ever experience. With a set of concept albums at the helm of a brilliant career to date, any release henceforth will be examined under a microscope by both avid listener and stander-bys. We know what to expect, but the delivery of each note and phrase is met by a hypercritical mind waiting to pounce. Vehissu eloquently marked Thrice’s first venture into this territory with its ambiance and solidarity and, eventually, polarized its fan base. The Alchemy Index led us to believe that the group can control its ambition and deliver insightful music far beyond its niche. Beggars, on the other hand, does not advance the premises expounded upon as one might reason. Instead, it seems to collaborate previous frameworks while dabbling in rhythm and blues.
Much as the metal roots have faded in years gone by, so has the questioning nature of Dustin Kensrue’s lyrics. Whereas he once accented his own struggles he now exemplifies a qualified posture of enlightenment and know-how rarely displayed by iconic figures. What questions are asked structure arguments that are rooted in intricate philosophy but are no longer fielding open answers, rather, they seem to embrace a Socratic method that leads the listener down a directed path. Though this structure sounds promising, songs like “Doublespeak” and “At The Last” lack the integrity of previous efforts without replacing it with another reputable quality. Nonetheless, the paternal nature of thrice carries on, both lyrically and musically, with merits abound. Beggars begins and ends with its strongest points (excluding the bonus materials associated with the physical release). The title track expands the nature of the “Earth” portion of The Alchemy Index without fail and it can be argued that this entire album represents the same conceptual logistics in some form or fashion.
Some of the tendencies on this record are familiar, however, some will take their toll on the less than understanding listener. Transition has often been the bane of the recording artist, but Thrice decided to throw a cog in the wheel by producing the album internally, which can be viewed as either a nominal feat or a amateurish mistake. Humility and perfectionism have been traditional values across Thrice’s eight album catalogue raisonné, which aids the belief that guitarist Taippei could be trusted with the task of production and mixing. The reaction is likely to be mixed at the very least, with most listeners unable to discern the quality of the effort.
Though the production value of the album can raise question, there are multiple songs that deserve note. “The Weight” holds the promise of past favorite “Stare At The Sun”, as it takes yield and redefines the concept of the relationship by conveying the long-term affection experienced through the lens of the same hopeful lover. Taking light on more worldly subjects, “All The World Is Mad” and “Circles” preach the ills of insobordinance, while the title track “Beggars” utilizes a Tom Waits-type focus on the shortcomings of humanity. With its jazzy backdrop and mesmerizing crooning it is difficult to avoid thoughts of the title track and its predecessor “The Great Escape” not being the core of another great short-play album. Alas, what we have instead is an album that could have been sweeter had it revealed a message of the same integrity sans the half-hour of filler between the most prominent numbers.
Though not the kaleidoscope of tones experienced in Thrice’s preceding release, Beggars attempts to fuse the efforts of previous albums by creating a representative amalgamation of tone, refined with a groove-intensive core and aggressive highlights.
2. The Weight
5. In Exile
6. At The Last
7. Wood And Wire
8. Talking Through The Glass/We Move Like Swing Sets
9. The Great Exchange
Thrice is an American post-hardcore/experimental rock band that formed in Irvine, California in 1998. The lineup consists of Dustin Kensrue (vocals and guitar), Teppei Teranishi (guitar), Eddie Breckenridge (bass), and Riley Breckenridge (drums).... read more