Without any type of progression, we become dull, stagnate beings that float around aimlessly until Death knocks on the door and begs for the keys to our existence. We then fail to reinvent ourselves, not for the sake of reinvention, but for the sheer necessity to constantly improve our condition and shift through the experiences that shape who we are. Music without this sense of maturation will sound the same throughout a lifeless discography, each record appearing like the predecessor except with a new cover and the songs rearranged with less-than-creative titles. What creates a musical act that will stand the test of unforgiving time is their ability to accept that their sound will change over the years and when it comes down to it, it’s about expressing themselves freely without attaching their creative spirits to the type of records critics or obsessive fans want to hear.
Thrice has been creating music as early as their high school years (circa 1998), putting out records that have been progressing towards a specific point, whether consciously or subconsciously. On September 15th, 2009 (digital version released in August) the band will release the record that everything else has led up to. “Beggars” is the record that proves that progression must be implemented because it is a risk worth taking, the result being the creation of songs that will leave the listener in awe and convince the naysayers that Thrice is one of the most important bands of our time.
Ten tracks that bring back a rawness and honesty that were once allocated to “alternative rock” in the 1990’s. With computers taking over much of the “talent” many mainstream artists are praised on, there seems to be a need to hear music that relies solely on the human-to-instrument talent of the musician(s). Each track feels raw, not sloppy but more in the sense that the band is inside your bedroom playing a private show for you instead of just pouring through speakers or headphones. The first half of the record has more groove than previous Thrice releases, being more energetic without the screaming and hard yelling they were known for in the first phase of the band. There are a few slower songs (“Wood & Wire”, “The Great Exchange”, and “Beggars”), but these songs are soaked deep in honesty and showcase the beauty of Dustin Kenrsue’s lyrics. One of the most haunting and truthful lines comes from the last track; “If there’s one thing I know in this life, we are beggars all.”
The more you listen to this record, the more it grows on you and the easier it is for you realize the perfection of the groove, soul-wrenching monster that is “Beggars”.
Note from the reviewer: I did not find it appropriate to dissect each song on the record, as other reviewers are more likely to have already done based on some invisible critique formula. Attempting to translate the essence of each song in word form would be a failed attempt and it would also serve as a spoiler, taking away from that first time you listen to the record straight through. Showing you the most important parts of the movie before you sit down in the theater with your soda and popcorn, ready to be taken to another world. I highly advise you purchase a copy of “Beggars”, listen to it somewhere isolated where there is no other noise interference, and allow the music to enter you and expand you and make you feel something that mainstream music can’t provide you with.