Posted by: will | June 2, 2006


Thursday "A City By The Light Divided" (Island)

In 2001 Thursday exploded onto the scene with their remarkably powerful second album, Full Collapse. As with any band that gains a certain level of popularity, they are bound to inspire a legion of followers (imitators). Unfortunately, Full Collapse inspired a ridiculous amount of unoriginal bands which in hindsight probably destroyed the genre to a certain extent. Thursday's fourth album A City By The Light Divided sees the band continuing to move their sound further and further away from the screamo genre that they unknowingly helped (over)populate. In my opinion that can only be a good thing for the band.

The first thing that jumped out at me about A City By The Light Divided was who was handling the production duties. Producer David Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Sleater-Kinney, Mogwai) has worked with the elite of indie rock but never a band like Thursday. His production is not the focal point but he definitely helps the band add some new textures to their sound that have not been displayed before.

Thursday is a smart band and it shows on A City By The Light Divided. Too many bands have painted themselves into a corner artistically and Thursday knows that. You must expand to survive. While the band has not completely broken free from the shackles of post/hardcore emo, they certainly seem intent on adding elements to their sound that put them above their peers. First of all, only a few songs feature the trademark screaming of past records. It's certainly a welcome change for the band. Although, when the band does incorporate its patented wail, like on "At This Velocity", they do it with such incredible passion that you can't question their choice. The kids choir that brings "We Will Overcome" to its end is certainly a nice touch. The track,"Arc — Lamps, Signal Flares, a Shower of White (The Light)" is a instrumental that provides a welcome change of pace. However, it's the following track, "Running From The Rain" that really speaks volumes to how far this band has come. The backing music beautifully swirls around lead singer Geoff Rickly's passionate vocals. It's certainly the highlight of the album.

A City By The Light Divided is a watermark album for Thursday on many levels. It sees the band refusing to stand still and managing to successfully experiment and incorporate new elements into their sound. However, the band never goes too far off the tracks that older fans won't be able to come along for the ride. Thursday have proven the doubters, including myself, wrong with A City By The Light Divided.

RIYL: Thrice, Sparta, The Cure



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