Thrice - Vheissu

Mike Mantin 17/10/2005

Rating: 2/5

Thrice's fame hit its peak with 'Stare At The Sun', an archetypal emo-pop song which used the same template for worship from black-haired, studded belted kids as My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy with their hits 'I'm Not OK (I Promise)' and 'Sugar We're Going Down': big riffs, melodramatic lyrics and truckloads of angst. So far, so teen emo friendly. But, on new (well, it came out last October) album 'Vheissu', they show every sign of disowning their radio-friendly past. Every part of the album portrays a band desperate to be taken seriously, from the general aesthetics of the album (cryptic title, OK Computer-style slogans on the cover) to the actual music. The lyrics clearly don't mean anything (“WE ARE THE IMAGE OF THE IN-VIS-A-BUHHL!”, they shout on the first track; does he know what he's talking about?). Then there's the vocals, and the singer seems to have adjusted his trousers from 'unbearably tight' to 'slightly baggy' because his high-pitched wail has turned into a second-rate metal-style roar.

There's some talented musicianship on display here. The guitar lines are often impressive, and, like Travis Barker, the drummer is talented but unfortunately has a crap taste in music. But even with a couple of good parts, it comes together to form a faceless whole, the loud bits sounding like every other band in most genres that ends in 'core', the quiet bits showing the weakness of the vocals and, on 'Music Box', the lame mechanical sound-effects descend the song into self-parody. It's loud alright, but that can't stop it being unrelentingly dull.