Crunchy, overdriven guitars strum and ring out with vocals that do not hold anything back, define Thrace’s new album Major/Minor. The album has reflective but melancholy lyrics, recording the album after Eddie and Riley Breckenridge lost their father. “My dad passed in the middle of recording, and I can’t put my finger on any particular song or moment that symbolizes the sadness we felt. But it was something weighing really heavy on us,” Riley Breckenridge said.
The band has experimented over their seven album history with different sounds, and after albums with unconventional instruments and toying with synthesizers “The Alchemy Index” and “Versus,” the new album sticks to the flowing guitar riffs. “Major/Minor” starts off by tearing into the first two tracks, “Yellow Belly” and “Promises,” basically just all out jams that sound reminiscent of Soundgarden.
There’s a guitar break in “Yellow Belly” where the lead guitar does a barre chord high on the neck in explosive blurts similar to Kurt Cobain’s solo in “Breed.” But lead guitar player Teppei Teranishi puts a very melodic echo effect on, so the thrashing delivered to the guitar is balanced by the graceful tone. That’s a technique Teranishi favors in this album; especially in the third track “Blinded.” It has such a big sound, like they recorded the album in a stadium as opposed to at a house.
As the album progresses, the urgency of the tracks seem to transfer from a high tempo, to songs that start off slow and build up to the critical moments. It is interesting how in a track such as “Words in the Water,” the drums have fast groove going but the vocals and guitar are patient. Over the normal drumbeat, a snare roll is recorded over to exaggerate this juxtaposition even more during the verses. When the quiet and contemplative lyrics give way to the cranked distortion, the rhythm of the guitar and the blasting bass drum make it hard to resist head bobbing.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G
Key Tracks: “Yellow Belly” “Cataracts” and “Promises”
RIYL: Thursday, The Receiving End of Sirens, and Moving Mountains.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!