Album review for “Major/Minor” by Thrice

Never listened to Thrice before? Allow me to assert that now is the perfect time to start. Major/Minor, the band’s seventh studio album, has something to offer everyone. Old fans will love it for its punchy, up-beat accessibility, while new listeners can sink their teeth into the rich, melodious guitars and sage commentary on society and faith.

The album explodes with “Yellow Belly,” an aggressive and guitar-saturated track. “I hope this song shames those who treat their families shamefully. I hope it can be a bucket of cold water to wake some men to the hell they are creating for the ones they are meant to protect.” Dustin Kensrue, the lead singer, says of the song. The dark lyrics certainly enhance the overall grittiness of the song.

“Promises” is striking, bright and complex; a real departure from their usual atmospheric, moody sound. Lyrically, this song serves as a sequel to “The Weight” (from their previous record, Beggars), satirizing society’s nonchalance towards love and marriage.

“Blinded” and “Call It In The Air” feature some beautiful, spine-chilling guitar riffs courtesy of Teppei Teranishi, while the catchy “Cataracts” is encompassed by a groovy, prominent bass line.

As I pre-ordered the vinyl before the official release date, I was able to devour the lyrics and liner notes before listening to the album. I was struck by the impressively wordy “Treading Paper.” I wasn’t sure how well the lengthy verses would translate into a song, but the band pulls it off with finesse. The track highlights the range and quality of Dustin’s vocals.

At the helm of “Words In The Water,” tight drums and sparse guitars masterfully punctuate the beautiful, poignant lyrics. Dustin, a worship leader at Mars Hill Church, is open and bold about his faith in “Listen Through Me.” Dustin writes in the liner notes, “…most people who have followed the band have come to understand that I am a follower of Jesus. It’s the single most important thing about me, so it comes out in various ways in my writing…”

The band members have weathered their share of death and mourning prior to and during the recording process of Major/Minor (Teranishi lost his mother to cancer, Kensrue’s father was diagnosed with brain cancer, and brothers Eddie and Riley Breckenridge lost their father to cancer). Their feelings—hope, anger, disorientation—are cataloged through the sounds and words of this record. “Disarmed” is the velvet curtain that descends with both weight and gracefulness, ending the album on an encouraging note. “…the lyrics are written out of my hope and belief that death does not have the final word.” Dustin concludes.

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