On Thrice’s 2018 album Palms, there is a song called “Just Breathe” that is an absolute stand out. The first time I heard the song, I was hooked. It’s a very Thrice song and then with the addition of guest vocals by Emma Ruth Rundle, it takes it to a whole other level. Her delicate vocals add a very soothing vibe and gives you the good kind of chills. One day, when live music is able to happen again, it would be a dream to get to see Emma join Thrice on stage to perform this song. It would be EPIC!!
Aaron Harris is a name I’m sure many of you are familiar with, provided you are a fan of the bands Isis and Palms. As the drummer for these two bands, Aaron laid down some of the most haunting and heavy beats in the last twenty years. In addition to his work in Isis and Palms, Aaron has had a successful career as a producer and engineer. He’s worked with bands like Pelican, Deftones, Team Sleep, Spotlights, Jakob, Puscifer and With Our Arms To The Sun. So it comes as no surprise that Aaron, as talented as he is, began composing music for TV, film, video games, and commercials. Working under the name Methodic Doubt, Aaron has created a world that has been described as “downright breathtaking” by Spin magazine. And they are pretty spot on with that. The sounds created by Aaron have a very dark and moody tinge combined with pulsating rhythms, delicate strings, and electronic elements that add the right amount of atmosphere.
On his debut solo album, Dark Energy, you can really get swept away in the sounds. The collection of tracks on the album are the type that are ideal for horror, thriller, and suspense projects. The use of percussion, whether it’s the sounds, pulsating rhythms, eerie textures combined with the abrasive synth work creates this very vivid and spooky soundtrack. Aaron is super talented and it’s not a surprise to see him move in this direction. Now with Dark Energy, more people will get to hear how integral he is to the bands he’s been in as well as why he is sought after in terms of producing.
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.
Thrice’s new album Palms comes out this Friday (September 14 via Epitaph Records). They’ve already premiered 2 stellar songs from the album, “The Grey” and “Only Us.” Now, they’ve unleashed “The Dark” on us all. This song has an interesting history. Thrice asked fans to be a part of the song by sending in audio and video of them singing a specific part, and they would be included in the final version of the track. This song definitely has a “vibe” to it that’s very Thrice.
Thrice has released a new track, “Only Us” from their upcoming album Palms (out September 14 via Epitaph Records). “Only Us” is Thrice experimenting a bit but not losing sight of what they do best. The song is full of lush melodies and emotion. “Only Us” is the type of song that when played live will be a beast. Check it out!!!
I was thinking the other day while looking for something to listen to about how many bands are out there that have only one album. Whether it’s by choice a la The Sex Pistols or because the band was dropped/broke up or even a one time project, I thought it would be quite interesting to compile a list of all those bands and albums.
This is not part of the 1st annual Audioeclectica Awards. This is just a list of the top 10 concerts I’ve attended this year.
1. Nine Inch Nails @ Hollywood Bowl
2. Failure @ El Rey and Fonda
3. Abloom and With Our Arms To The Sun @ Velvet Jones
4. Corrections House and Author & Punisher @ Echoplex
5. Mastodon @ Club Nokia
6. Royal Blood and The Last Internationale @ Roxy
7. Chevelle and Black Map @ Wiltern
8. Palms @ Troubadour
9. Down @ Wiltern
10. Placebo @ Club Nokia
On paper supergroups sound like a good idea. Mix parts of one band with another. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Thankfully when Isis members Aaron Harris, Jeff Caxide, and Bryant Clifford Meyer joined up with Deftones singer Chino Moreno, musical bliss was created. Last night at the Troubadour was definitely something inspiring. The bands 75 minute set was full of intrigue. Their set started off with an untitled new song, then quickly jumped into “Tropics.” The main highlight of the night was when Adam Jones from Tool got on stage to join the band in playing “Shortwave Radio.” The crowd erupted when Adam appeared, almost to the same level as when Chino took the stage. You would think that with all the projects Chino is involved with he would run out of things to sing about. That is not the case. In Palms he gets to expand his thoughts into something more etherial that at the same time fits within the music and his voice is subtle as it caresses against the musical backdrop. Closing out the night was the fantastic song “Patagonia.” Palms is the type of band that can transcend heavy music and get those listening to just relax and settle into the music.
Opening band The Beta Machine, was nothing special. Actually to be perfectly honest they were rather drab and boring. I’d almost rather it have been an evening with Palms, than have to sit through their set. Though their drummer is quite fantastic.
What a great night for music. I love shows that leave me wanting more and that make me want to go home and write songs. In the past 4 days seeing Abloom and Palms really did that for me. And despite the venues sound guy not being on top of their game when it came to the live mix of Chino’s vocals, it was a great show.
1. New Song
3. Mission Sunset
4. Future Warrior
5. Shortwave Radio (with Adam Jones)
6. Antarctic Handshake
Chino Moreno has one of the most distinct voices in the rock music community. His soft whispers, powerful screams, and intriguing melodies can be found on quite a few albums from others. Below is a handful of those.
There is a saying that it’s best to go out on top, and in 2010, Isis did just that. Having released a great album Wavering Radiant, the guys in Isis decided to go their separate ways. Over the course of their career they released quite a few albums, EP’s, and splits. Two of their albums 2002’s Oceanic and 2004’s Panopticon are genre defining albums and regarded as classics in heavy music circles. Isis was a band that helped to expand the genre in which Neurosis and Godflesh made. Their use of conceptual themes in their lyrics made the albums stand out even more especially Panopticon. During their live shows the use of lights mixed with the rhythmic nature of the songs and the use of ambient sounds made their live show a truly intriguing experience. I was lucky enough to have seen Isis on their final tour. All the members have since gone on to other projects. One of the most prominent of those project is Palms which features 3 of the members of Isis and Chino Moreno of Deftones. All in all Isis was truly a great band that still had so much left to share with the world musically. Only time will tell if there will ever come a time when they will reconvene and form again.