Album Review: Thursday – “Waiting” (Expanded Edition)

Geoff Rickly has composed what I consider to be the best trilogy in terms of post-hardcore, screamo and emo. Thursday‘s Full Collapse and War All the Time are perfect records that touch on disheveled lives in very tumultuous times. But that poetry began 15 years ago with Waiting. It’s an iconic and enigmatic album that really drove home that emo never died, and allowed bands like The Cure, The Smiths, The Promise Ring, and Texas Is The Reason (among many others) to live on while simultaneously inspiring acts like Taking Back Sunday and The Used – all ushering a new wave for contemporary bands, à la Touché Amoré, to swim in.

“Where The Circle Ends” for example is something I’m sure La Dispute picked up on in their nascent stage. But if you’re looking for the fuel that started Thursday’s fire, pay attention to tracks like “Porcelain”, “Ian Curtis” and “Streaks In The Sky” – tunes centered around death, life, love and loss. Bill Henderson and Tim Keely’s guitars shine on the record with huge hooks, intricate riffs and really make one of the most dynamic, versatile and guitar-steady pieces of work I’ve ever heard. Manchester Orchestra are the only guys around that come near this musical ingenuity. Thursday make Rickly’s out-of-tune yet passionate vocals work so well and help build on the powerful lyrics he spills. The band’s musicianship has always been their strong point, masking Rickly’s flaws, even after Henderson departed following the release of the album.

Tucker Rule’s drums really highlight the focus and drive of the band as one that’s carefree and just making the music kids like me needed in high school. Screamo’s there too. It’s a lot of genres clashing yet mixing so well. What’s even better to absorb are the demos for tracks like “This Side of Brightness” and “Dying In New Brunswick” which feel so raw and real. Heavier and distorted but still beautiful and telling. These are excellent bonus pieces for fanboys.

As Rickly charts forward with United Nations and his project with the former member of Lostprophets (called No Devotion), I admit I hope he reunites Thursday and offers a new album. Their storytelling is amazing and I’ve never encountered an experience like them. They dropped off the boil in their last couple records but that didn’t alter the impact for me personally. Waiting shaped the way for a lot of bands to emerge and broke us out of the stranglehold of old grunge and nu-metal, but not in a bad way. Music like this just rarely comes by anymore. It definitely broke the shackles that commercial MTV and mainstream VHI tried to place on us. Waiting will always remain a champion debut that thus far, has been untouchable, classic and timeless.

5 /5 Stars

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