Thrice at Marquee Theatre
February 24 @ 5:30 pm - 11:30 pm
American rock quartet Thrice formed in the late ’90s and became one of the more influential acts of the period alongside post-hardcore contemporaries Glassjaw and Thursday. After a pair of early-2000s punk releases, they broke into the mainstream with 2003’s brooding hardcore The Artist in the Ambulance and 2005’s atmospheric Vheissu. Into the 2010s, Thrice issued five consecutive indie Top Five efforts, peaking with 2016’s hard rock-leaning To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere.
Thrice formed in 1998 in Irvine, California. Guitarist/vocalist Dustin Kensrue, guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge, and drummer Riley Breckenridge all knew each other from high school and the neighborhood skate park, and the usual round of practices, music competitions, and local gigs helped hone their new band’s sound. By late 1999, Thrice had amassed enough material to cut a proper record. Working with Death by Stereo‘s Paul Miner, the quartet recorded 12 tracks and self-released the Identity Crisis LP in April 2000. More gigs followed, and Thrice’s mounting buzz sparked the interest of Hopeless/Sub City‘s Louis Posen.
Posen signed the band in 2001, reissued Identity Crisis, and put Thrice on tour with Samiam. Tours with Midtown and Hot Rod Circuit followed, and eventually Thrice re-entered the studio with producer Brian McTernan. Although those recording sessions proved to be a trying period for the young group, The Illusion of Safety emerged and was later released in February 2002. Naturally, the band hit the road in support of the album, this time playing concerts alongside Further Seems Forever and Face to Face. Thrice also began headlining shows for the first time that year, and major labels began to take notice. Eventually, Island Records signed the band in June. A stint on the Warped Tour followed, and Thrice spent the fall playing club dates with Hot Water Music and Coheed & Cambria.
February 2003 found the band returning to the studio with McTernan but this time, Island Records was footing the bill. The focused effort The Artist in the Ambulance appeared in August 2003, featuring the hit “All That’s Left.” Thrice supported it with an ambitious slate of tour dates that included jaunts to Europe. The band also continued to involve itself with charitable organizations, having actively supported non-profits and charities since signing with Sub City (the charitable arm of Hopeless Records). Portions of the proceeds from Artist in the Ambulance went to the Syrentha J. Salvo Endowment, which provides financial assistance for cancer screenings.
A new studio effort, the ambitious Vheissu, followed in October 2005, while the EP Red Sky appeared early the next year. A slew of new material arrived in 2007 and 2008, including a four-disc conceptual project entitled The Alchemy Index. Issued in two double-disc releases, The Alchemy Index, Vols. 1-2 focused on the elements of fire and water, while The Alchemy Index, Vols. 3-4 completed the cycle with air and earth. The quadruple concept was notable for the band’s newly incorporated textures and programming. They followed with two separate releases of live material, The MySpace Transmissions and Live at the House of Blues. Meanwhile, the studio effort Beggars appeared in 2009, evolving their sound even further with hints of Baroque indie tourmates the Dear Hunter and instrumental meandering similar to Radiohead. For their next album, the bandmembers went off on their own to work on new music before heading into Red Bull Studios with Dave Schiffman to put the songs to tape. The result was their seventh album, Major/Minor, which was released in the summer of 2011.
In 2012, the band announced a hiatus, which was to continue for three years. In the intervening time, Kensrue continued with his solo career, while Riley and Eddie Breckenridge played in Puig Destroyer and Angels & Airwaves, respectively. In 2015, Thrice returned with appearances at several major music festivals, announcing a new album at the end of the year. Recorded with Eric Palmquist and entitled To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere, their ninth album was released in May 2016. Signing with Epitaph Records in 2018, Thrice returned with “The Grey,” their first single for the label, which later landed on their tenth studio effort, Palms. As part of Record Day 2019, they also issued the EP Deeper Wells, which featured four songs recorded during the Palms sessions. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi
It is no mistake that mewithoutYou have become one of today’s most fascinating experimental rock acts. The last 16 years have borne witness to the Philadelphia five-piece exercising stylistic evolutions and aerial dynamics with humbling dexterity and untamed ambition. At their roots may be a theatrical progressive punk/post-hardcore band, but they’ve never been content to remain comfortably within a familiar genre. Their continuous multi-directional movements have left them increasingly difficult to classify, the growth of their branches impossible to predict.
Drug Church are a glorious contradiction. They’re an unabashedly aggressive band that writes hooks you can’t stop humming–too poppy for the heavy crowd, too heavy for the poppy crowd. Their frontman is a singer who rarely sings, delivering lyrics that revel in the darkest corners of the human condition but are just as likely to make you laugh as to make you flinch. The band loudly shouts uncomfortable truths we’d prefer to avoid but makes us want to shout along with them; they make serious music but don’t take themselves too seriously; they’re completely adverse to planning but have found accidental success. Now on their third full-length, Cheer, the band has doubled down on their Drug Church-iest impulses and somehow emerged with their most accessible album to date.
Over six years, several EPs, and two full-lengths, Drug Church–Patrick Kindlon (vocals), Nick Cogan (guitar), Cory Galusha (guitar), Pat Wynne (bass), and Chris Villeneuve (drums)–have earned a cult following by making outsider music that’s as thoughtful as it is hard hitting. Their sound is a crushing mix of hardcore energy, ‘90s alternative melodicism, and Kindlon’s signature sing-shout; if that doesn’t exactly fit into a convenient box, it’s because the most intentional thing about Drug Church is knowing the value of being unintentional. Kindlon says, “If I have any success I’d like it to be just because people like the thing, not because I sat in a dark room learning brand alchemy.”
Through an otherworldly conjuration of heavy guitars, soothing dissonance, and textural space, Holy Fawn invoke music from seen and unseen corners and crevices of the wilderness. Like an ancient culture exalting the sacred spirit of nature, the music mirrors the onset of night in the woods, a delicate push-and-pull of ominous sonic omens and blissful vocal calm. The Phoenix quartet—Ryan Osterman [guitar, vocals], Evan Phelps [guitar], Alexander Rieth [bass], and Austin Reinholz [drums]—hint at such sorcery in their chosen moniker.
“We wanted a name that was going to represent the sacredness of nature,” says Ryan. “In a lot of instances, a fawn is representative of psychic abilities, connections, premonitions, and otherworldly influence. It’s relatable, because of a lot of the lyrical content is paranormal or based on nature. Then, nature will fuel music, and music will fuel our fascination with the vantages of nature.”
Existing within the same musical ecosystem, the members started jamming in 2015. They bonded over a similar aesthetic. It’s informed by minimalist indie films a la the documentary Horizon and the stark simplicity of literature, including Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and No Country for Old Men.
Evan notes, “Those books stuck with me because they’re really heavy on imagery and description with little dialogue. They made me realize I could paint a world in my head with very few words, which is what we try to do.”
These gatherings eventually gave birth to their independent EP debut Realms. Throughout the next three years between intermittent gigs, the group hunkered down and recorded their first full-length album Death Spells. The ten songs assumed a wild spirit by juxtaposing untamed noise with sweeping melodies as if untethered to the reason, rules, and logic of the civilized urban world and beholden to an internal compass. The title proved apropos.
A quiet launch landed Death Spells in the hands of a few tastemakers during 2018, and it took up residence in the minds of fans and critics alike. Stereogum lauded it as one of the “Top 50 Records of 2018.” New Noise described it as a “sonic adventure,” and Heavy Blog Is Heavy called them, “wholly unique.” Additionally, they earned the fandom of Thrice’s Riley Breckenridge and Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe who promised, “listening from top-to-bottom will take you on a trance-inducing journey.” In 2019, it receives a proper full release on Triple Crown Records. This new phase begins with the music video for opening track “Dark Stone,” which completes a triptych begun by previous visuals for “Arrows” and “Drag Me Into The Woods.”
“I want listeners to make a personal connection with Death Spells,” Ryan leaves off. “When I was a kid, I’d pick up a CD, go home, take out the artwork, and literally digest the album. It’s how I listen to music today and how I hope others might experience our band.”
“The album is meant to be heard like that,” concludes Austin. “It’s laid out to be loud and in-your-face with a million thoughts going through your head. You’re questioning yourself. Then, it’s calm. It’s unpredictable.”