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Thrice – Getting Back to Basics with Beggars

Since 1998 Thrice (Dustin Kensrue – vocals/guitar, Teppei Teranishi – guitar/producer, Riley Breckenridge – drums, Ed Breckenridge – bass) have taken the road less traveled. Being brought under the heavy rock umbrella with the release of their debut, Identity Crisis, in 2001, the band’s musical style and essence continued to evolve and unfold beyond the confines of the genre.

In 2007, Thrice set out on newer territory with the The Alchemy Index, an experimental and dare I say electronic-influenced four-EP element-based concept series, Volume I & II: Fire & Water, Volume III & IV: Air & Earth. To say this was a stretch from their heavy rock counterparts is an understatement and a testament to the creative nature from which Thrice’s music is formed and conceived.

On Beggars (Vagrant, 2009), the foursome returns from whence it came—four guys in a room with some ideas and their instruments.

There are those bands that choose to keep their music far away from anything remotely political and socially provocative. Then there are band such as Thrice that can’t help but bring issues to light through lyrics and rhythms.

Straight out of the shoot, the tone of the album is set with “The World is Mad.” As corporations such as BP destroy our world’s ecosystem and the livelihood of thousands, lobbyist troll the halls of congress to preserve their shareholder’s interests while forsaking the population’s health and well-being, and the population seems more concerned with who’s won “Dancing with the Stars” than what’s in the food they eat, “something’s gone terribly wrong.” Indeed.

Which leads us to the next wake-the-fuck-up track, “Doublespeak” which points out the many who have a puppet master’s control over our daily lives while again, people feel more comfortable keeping their heads in the sand, like the “happy” wife who ignores her husband’s blatant infidelities in order to fake the perfection of her family.

Considering the free form and collaborative nature in which Beggars was molded, “The Weight” seems to have been recorded in a dusty barn; a couple beers sitting idol as band members sit lazily with their instruments on milking stools and bails of hay. Kensrue leans against a wooden door near the back of the space as he begins singing with a sleepy swagger, gets up and makes his way to the mic where the emotion gets louder and more intense. Then the glaring nature of his voice, which has brought dedicated fans to a fever since back-in-the-day, takes over and “…there’s no end in sight.”




Kensrue has acknowledged the influence Alchemy’s concept has had on the feel and flow of some of tracks from Beggars, including “Wood & Wire,” which vibrates with ghosts from a darkened pier and twinkles with the dim light before sunrise.

The strength of Thrice is how easily they can switch gears, from beautifully layered, contemplative songs such as “The Great Exchange” and the title track “Beggars” to the gnarly fire of “Talking Through Glass” that hooks back to their earlier work and the core of their songwriting history.

No doubt the band will pull out a bevy of material from those musical journals during this Beggars tour, which comes to Denver at the Ogden on Sunday, July 11 with Kevin Devine, Bad Veins, and The Dig. The band continues their tour:

Jul 13 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 15 –  The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Jul 16 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
Jul 17 – Fox Theater – Pomona, CA
Jul 18 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
Aug 19 – Festival Site – Kiewit Hasselt, Belgium
Aug 21- Störmthal lake Großpösna Leipzig, Germany
Aug 22 – Open Air Arena – Gampel, Switzerland
Aug 28 – Leeds, UK
Aug 29 – Reading , UK



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