Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.
Record Reflections 2:
In the first edition of Record Reflections, we looked at a record by a band called Jimmy Eat World and their magnum opus, "Clarity". today, while staying somewhat in the emo milieu, we move to the heavier side and look at a band from New Jersey that defined the genre of screamo. The album is "Full Collapse" and the band is Thursday.
By "Full Collapse" here
"Full Collapse" by Thursday
Do you ever hear one of those albums that you know is going to change how you interpret music? “Full Collapse” by Thursday is one of those albums for me. I wish I could remember who introduced me to Thursday. I may have discovered them on my own. I’ve always had a knack off finding cool bands… but, I feel like someone mentioned them to me at some point. So, I checked this album out and I was floored.
It sounded familiar to me. Even though the style was still in its nascent phase, it was growing in popularity and it felt right at home to me. Many of the things on this album were things that a band I enjoyed (A Beautiful Mistake) was doing. My own band, Royalty Wears Thorns, was also doing many of the same things. This was screamo and this was right when screamo hit.
For anyone that doesn’t know what screamo is, the best way to describe it would be to take about fifty percent emo, 25% punk and 25% hardcore or metal, mix them up and throw it down with some hardcore dancing. Melodic sung verses clash with screamed choruses. Jangly guitars make way for distorted chugs. If grunge defined the early 90’s, in many ways, screamo described the early part of this century—and it’s still something I greatly enjoy—and this album might be my favorite one.
When I heard this album, it validated what I was doing with my own music. When I heard this album, it showed me that there were other people out there looking to break rules but still making an attempt at commerciality. And, while my tastes have grown more extreme, this album and this genre continue to have a special place for me.
I have this album on vinyl and it really brings out the intricacies of the music that can be missed with a casual listen. It reminds me that this is one of those albums that needs to be played at full volume and with reckless disregard for those around you. Oddly enough, despite the high volume required to truly appreciate this album, it’s strangely soothing and I’ve even used it to fall asleep too on numerous occasions.
I even remember one time in particular when I was living in Vegas with my first wife. I was by this point sleeping in the other room and I fell asleep with this album on repeat, at full volume. She worked nights at the In N Out Burger and I remember she came home and opened the door to the room I was sleeping in and she was shocked and annoyed that I was listening to the music so loudly and asked me to turn it down. I didn’t a fight ensued, after which, we made love for one of the last times.
It’s an album whose brilliance you can’t pinpoint. From the opening chords of “Understanding in a Car Crash”, to the intense pleading of “Cross out the eyes” to the final refrain (not counting the prologue and epilogue) of “How long is the night” this album falls under the “perfection” category. It’s a little bit dated now, but, boy, it stills gets a ton of listens from me and it still makes me feel all kinds of things about music that I though I had lost by my early twenties. It’s brilliant, complicated, dense, and so so good. There’s no better word for it.
"Understanding in a Car Crash" by Thursday
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© 2020 Justin W Price