On My Playlist: Top 5 Thrice songs from Palms


American rock band Thrice released their tenth studio album, Palms, in September this year. Once again, their newest work transcends and complements their vast discography. Thrice are known for their unique rock sound, which has progressed from hard rock/punk to a more alternative rock sound with a number of visceral and melodic influences.
A combination of rock anthems and inspirational ballads is just one way to describe this complex album, which delivers a more mature sound.
The band formed in 1998 when lead vocalist Dustin Kensrue and guitarist, Tappei Teranishi, were still in high school. Eddie Breckenridge (bass) and Riley Breckenridge (drums) complete the lineup.
5. A Branch In The River
The galloping bass line in this track by Eddie Breckenridge is pure bliss to the ears of any listener of this alternative-inspired track. “A Branch in the River” focuses on how holding on can make things worse and how it is sometimes better to let go, even though fear paralyses us. The constant drum beat from Riley Breckenridge takes the song forward with a great pace before Ternanishi adds high melodic guitar lines to the song. The song has a somewhat distorted and raw quality to it and this is what makes the track stand out in my opinion.

4. Just Breathe
The drum intro by Riley Breckenridge and the ultra-groovy bass of his brother, Eddie, starts this song on a distinctive note. It is one of my favourite musical passages on the album. The song focuses on releasing the grip of fear and anxiety, focusing on the moment and brea-thing to get back in tune with reality. Dustin Kensrue’s vocals are perfect on this track, with the dual vocals of Kensrue and Teranishi creating a sooting effect in chorus. “Stay deep in the moment, just breathe, feel the flow of all things in the moment.” The song ends with an individualised vocal part that brings a fantastic song to a poignant end.

3. Hold Up a Light
This track opens with a distorted guitar riff by Kensrue and a linear melodic passage by Teranishi before the Breckenridge brothers enter the fray with Eddie’s soulful sounding bass and Riley’s steady groove dictating the pace. This is one of the louder tracks on Palms and Kensrue’s raspy vocals take one back to the music of the 90s with a fantastic grunge feel. This song proves that although Thrice’s music has evolved tremendously over the past few years, they can still bring solid hard rock and roll to the table. The infectious repeating chorus of “Hold up the light, hold up the light till the world is one,” will have you singing along for days.

2. The Grey
“The Grey” is a song that looks at how things are not always black and white and how each person should find the path that makes most sense to them. The song details an experience that shaped Kensrue’s own beliefs in life.
The song begins with a creative western-sounding guitar riff by Teranishi, before Kensrue’s powerful voice comes rolling in with powerful anecdotes: “Learning how to live with doubt, learning how to lean into the grey. I’ve found another way and I will lead into the gray,” sings Kensrue. This was the first single from the album and its overall production and various intricate melodies and sing-along choruses make it one of the best tracks on the album.

1. The Dark
One of the most delightfully simple guitar passages is the intro to in “The Dark”. It catches your attention right from the onset. Breckenridge’s drums then enter the fray and this adds superb substance to the track. One of the best aspects of this song is that each instrument gets an opportunity shine in the opening verse. The chorus is one of the most powerful aspects of the song, with an eerie lead guitar riff giving the song a grandiose quality. The song is one of the few songs on the album with a much slower tempo, but this in essence gives it its appeal. The chorus “I’m not going to sit in the dark anymore,” is then taken to the next level in the outro with a choir of fans singing the chorus together. A truly unique and special way to end a song.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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