Thrice has never been a band to repeat what they did on their last album. They’ve always pushed forward and tried new things. Sometimes those experiments worked (Vheissu) and others not so much (Beggars). Now on their tenth studio album, Thrice have returned with Palms, a record that picks up where To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere left off. Palms is chock full of those signature Thrice moments from the riffs, lyrics, melodies and rhythms that makes Thrice a special band.
There is no doubt that when Thrice writes a “heavy” song, you know that it’s going to be a favorite. Rather than go all out heavy on the first track, “Only Us” starts it off with a very subtle mid tempo track that is heavy but full of melody. Then on track two with “The Grey,” they step it up a bit more to really push the album further. “The Dark” then takes it back to the melodic with it’s dark brooding body. Dustin Kensrue, really shines on this song. “Just Breathe” which features guest vocals from Emma Ruth Rundle, is another stellar track that shows a bit of a different side of the band. As the album continues on with songs like “Everything Belongs” and “My Soul,” Thrice explores a bit of their ballad side, then they bring it back up tempo with the distortion heavy “Hold Up A Light.” Closing out the album is “Beyond The Pines” a very stark and haunting track that continues on the bands experimental path but doesn’t stray from the overall sense of the album.
Overall, Palms is very much a Thrice album. They aren’t trying to sound like anyone else but themselves. The experimentation works for these songs. Since the band returned with To Be Everywhere, you get the sense that Dustin, Teppei, Ed, and Riley are feeling inspired again and have something more to say. The playing and performances on this album are top notch and hark back to their early days, when making music was fun and full of life. The only complaint I have about Palms, is that the mix on this album is pretty weak. Often times, the drums are buried, the bass just becomes a rumble, the crisp/bright guitars are often lost amongst the distortion, and the vocals at times seem to be too compressed. But if you look past these things, Palms is a very enjoyable and full album. Thrice have really pushed themselves to not repeat the past and on Palms, they achieve that and show their collective maturity.
Overall Rating 8.5/10