It was hard to say what direction Thrice would take after the ambitious four volume, 26 song “Alchemy Index” released in two parts, in 2007 and 2008. The Alchemy Index explored a number of different genres including electronic and folk while also remaining true to their roots with some very aggressive numbers as well as some straight rock tunes. Thrice could have very easily stuck with any number of sounds they’ve explored in the past but with the release of “Beggars” it is clear, they have continued to progress by once again reinventing themselves.
Beggars is exactly the album Thrice needed to make at this point in their career. The band very much wanted to shed the overall vibe of their past couple of albums which becomes strikingly obvious as the bass guitar kicks off the first track “All the World is Mad.” Simply put, this album has soul. It grooves from start to finish embodying a distinctly more upbeat sound. Brothers Edward and Riley Breckenridge who play bass guitar and drums respectively, shine on this album. Each song is dominated by killer bass grooves and loud precision drumming, which is especially nice considering the more subdued rhythm section on The Alchemy Index. Another noticeable change is the strong influence of blues, jazz and roots music. The blues influence particularly stands out in Dustin Kensrue’s vocals.
As upbeat as this album is, it also has a dark side. Lyrically, Kensrue writes of a dark and dreary world full of pain and heartache. The chorus of “All the World is Mad” proclaims, “Something’s gone terribly wrong with everyone; all the world is mad. Darkness brings terrible things; the sun is gone- what vanity! wretched fires.” On the flip side there are number of tracks that speak of hope beyond this life. “Wood and Wire” tells of an innocent man on death row who longs for endless glory.
While Thrice’s past material may not have been as accessible due to it’s aggressive nature, Beggars will appeal to a broader audience. If you are someone who loves rock music, then consider checking out this album, you won’t be disappointed.