By Helen Brown
– No Devolucion – Thursday
|Nowadays, the word ‘genre’ can be the kiss of death for a band. Unless they do something phenomenal and memorable with their music, they run the risk of falling into a certain category and being lost among the throngs of other musicians doing the exact same thing. Case in point: Thursday’s sixth release, No Devolucion. This New Jersey-based outfit have
created an album loaded with screamo American rock and impressive lead vocals, projecting a dark and broody atmosphere. Unfortunately, this effort is not ground-breaking and we have heard it all before. Licks of fuzzed-out guitar with sporadic psychedelic notes on No Devolución offer something else to the typical screamo mould, but it is not quite different enough to redeem the album. The tracks are
primarily average with hardly any substance, in some cases comparable to an emo church choir if such a thing existed.
One example is the track ‘Open Quotes,’ consisting of a mellow introduction with acoustic guitar and soft piano notes. This is but a brief reprieve from the hardcore onslaught of the rest of the song, with strong drumming and an ever-changing tempo that comes to a sudden halt at the end. The track is about someone sorting through their emotions, and trying to survive and find their place in a dark world, once again very similar to what we have all heard before.
Many tracks such as ‘Fast to the End’ and ‘Sparks Against the Sun’ offer speedy, catchy guitar riffs and impressively prominent drum beats, these being common strong points throughout. The majority of the time, however, the tracks from No Devolución are too safe and do not dare to be different in any significant way. ‘A Gun in the First Act’ is the only song with a powerful hook, apart from a couple of rare toe-tapping moments. In fact, the following line from the album sums up the overall vibe: “sitting here with an empty glass / waiting for the day to swallow me whole.” What a lovely sentiment.
The closing number – which cannot happen soon enough – comes in the form of ‘Stay True,’ a much more mellow track to balance out the musical turmoil shown during the album. Here, it sounds as though he is talking to himself, giving an assertion to stay grounded and hold it together: “Keep your head down / keep your friends close.” This is the apparent solution to ease the tumultuous inner-workings of his confused mind. More accurately, it is a haphazard attempt to tighten the album and give it a slight spit-polish, to try and make it come together in the end.
This is something you would listen to right through, alone in a darkened room, very loud, especially if you feel the need to get in touch with your own bleak inner emotions. While it is not for everyone, Thursday’s No Devolución does have its good points, especially if you are a fan of the American emo hardcore genre. If not, then best steer clear.
(My rating: 2 out of 5)
By Helen Brown
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