Common Existence

Written by: TL on 17/02/2009 21:33:18

Thursday is a band that should need no introduction, but just in case you have been living under a rock for the past 10 years, let me just inform you that Thursday is one of the most important bands of the decade, at least within genres such as emocore and post-hardcore. Their second album ever has a widely acclaimed cult status, and their third LP "War All The Time" is rightfully worshipped by music fans worldwide for being one of the very best records released for the last 10 years. Many claim that after 10 years of being a band, Thursday have yet to release a bad record. Here at Rockfreaks we are a bit more sceptical than that, because even while it would be unfair to compare 97% of all records to "War All The Time", the messy production that characterized "A City By The Light Divided" was simply unacceptable, and ever since its release we have been waiting for Thursday to return to form.

So here they are with their new record "Common Existence", and while comparing it to "War All The Time" will still give you less than a snowball's chance in hell of not getting disappointed, it's still a record that's easily better sounding than "A City By The Light Divided" (despite the producer being the same). Thursday are mellower, more atmospheric and even more thoughtful than usual at this moment in time, even if they still retain enough weight on their dynamics to sound like themselves. You could say they've taken another step away from emocore/post hardcore and closer to indie/experimental, effectively having their songs come off as much more layered compositions. Some may find this an interesting development, but personally I can't shake the feeling that it is costing a bit too much on the account of the band's obvious strengths.

After listening closely to "Common Existence", I find that doing so is exactly what has become a necessity for appreciating the new Thursday. You really need to have your wits about you while listening, otherwise you're bound to miss the layers upon layers of vocals and instrumentation, and if you do, "Common Existence" becomes a blurry experience that feels like quality but doesn't stick like it. If on the other hand you manage to pay attention, then there's a richness of clever details that reveal this record to be a far more composed piece of art than the vast majority of stuff you're likely to normally treat your ears to. This fact alone makes "Common Existence" worth it's weight in listening sessions, but it doesn't really change the fact that what was once a piercing feeling of urgency coming from this band, is now sometimes just a notch too frantic, and the songs here lack the final hooks and phrases to carry you into it as a listener. Something that can be clearly heard in songs on the first part of the album, like opener "Resuscitation Of A Dead Man", "Last Call" and "Friends In The Armed Forces" which all bear Thursdays unique sound but simply fail to grab your attention like older material did, while tracks on the second half of the record seem to be more intensely dedicated to experimentation, making heavy use of electronic and feedback in song structures that are more fluent and less jagged than we're used to from the band.

All in all "Common Existence" makes for a good listen, whether it is for the curious and attentive music appreciator or for the hopeful Thursday fan, but it still just doesn't quite feel like what we want from the band. It isn't quite as engaging as we expect it to be. It may be because Thursday doomed all their future releases when they made "War All The Time" so God damn good or it may be that the new songs simply take a long time to sink in, I simply can't tell, but whether any of those are the reason or not, it's still the case that "Common Existence" doesn't feel consistenly rewarding enough at present moment, to merit a higher grade than:

Download: Resuscitation Of A Dead Man, Friends In The Armed Forces
For The Fans Of: Thrice, Emery, United Nations,

Release Date: 17.02.2009

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