Album Review // THRICE ‘Palms’
The tenth album from Thrice further cements what we already knew – that Thrice are one of the best bands of their generation.
Thrice release their tenth album Palms, an album that tackles themes prevalent in today’s society and brings the band to a new light.
As with their previous albums, they have done something unpredictable at every twist and turn, and that is precisely why Thrice are one of the best bands of their generation. They continually shock and surprise, and the versatility displayed in Palms shows us why they have remained successful for so long whilst others have been left in the dust. It’s their most expansive work to date; between profoundly impactful moments, there are glimpses of tender vulnerability that hint at a more personal affair of the band.
Opening with Only Us, it’s undeniably one of the most powerful opening tracks as pulsating synths rip through thunderous basses. Acting as a commentary on the bigotry and hate that can be seen today, the stricken vocal delivery of Dustin Kensrue hammer home the message “There is no them // There is only us”. Monumental guitar riffs and pulverising electronics ricochet off each other in a masterpiece of searing vocals and expansive soundscapes.
Meanwhile, The Grey brings us back to a massive rock sound. There’s an injection of energy, as furious instrumentals start the track. There’s a raw honesty found in the chorus, as Kensrue confesses “I’m learning how to live with doubt // Learning how to lean into the grey”, and despite the thunderous texture of the track, there’s an introspection to be found in the lyricism, and it marks a confrontation with our own feelings and breaking free from preconceived notions.
The Dark, with its delicate guitar opening, conveys a message of resistance against social conformity and refusal to wait for others to dictate the narrative. As Kensrue declares in the chorus, “I’m not gonna sit in the dark anymore”. With its evocative choral harmonies, it’s a song that, although not very loud in nature, will ring loudly in your head through the questions it forces you to confront.
A piano may not be the first thing you expect from Thrice, but in Everything Belongs, it acts as the main driving force for a moving piece about the way different aspects of life just click into place. Lyrically liberating, the optimism is represented musically as well as soaring vocals and climatic soundscapes build on each other and create a blossom of warmth as Kensrue repeats “Everything belongs”. And for the duration of the track, you’ll feel an inner bliss and peace as you come to terms with the intricacy of life.
Final track Beyond The Pines is similarly moving, and as the poignant melodies pierce through you, you’ll be moved to tears as Kensrue promises “I will meet you there through the pines”. Crystalline guitar tones and gentle percussion flow together to bring the exposed vocals of Kensrue to the forefront, and it’s an exquisite ending that will resonate within you long after the melodies have faded away. Palms is a journey for the listener to embark on, and you’ll doubtless emerge wiser on the other side.