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Palms

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Thrice 9/14/2018

Review

When Thrice returned in 2016 from their short hiatus, the resulting comeback album retained a glimmer of recognizable spirit of their former post-hardcore selves, but signaled a shift toward midtempo, muscular hard rock. Two years later, on their tenth album Palms, the band took further steps in that direction, resulting in a subdued affair that offers just a few exciting moments, but is otherwise a bleak slog of introspective brow-furrowing. Thus, for those expecting 2000s Thrice, expectations should be checked at the door. Palms is Thrice matured, featuring brooding piano-centric ballads ("Everything Belongs") and experimental tempo noodling ("Blood on Blood"), with just a couple reminders of past hunger ("A Branch in the River" and "Hold Up a Light"). Produced by the band and Eric Palmquist, Palms takes inspiration from No Knife, Beach House, Fugazi, and Radiohead, yet ends up sounding like Dave Grohl fronting Shinedown or Royal Blood (especially on "The Grey" and "The Dark"). Standouts include opener "Only Us," which features a surprising digital-synth crawl and epic, atmospheric scope, and "Just Breathe," a slow-burner with lush harmonies provided by singer/songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle. The promise of these tracks is unfortunately not delivered elsewhere on Palms, but Thrice inject some variation on this otherwise laborious listen. Upon release, the band explained the album's title as a reference to the palms of one's hands, which, when open, can lead to acceptance and understanding of one another (versus the aggressive response of a fist). The sentiment is admirable, but the sonic execution needs further refinement to reflect the evolved optimism they seek to highlight. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Only Us Thrice 3:44
  3. 2 The Grey Thrice 4:6
  4. 3 The Dark Thrice 3:50
  5. 4 Just Breathe Thrice 3:57
  6. 5 Everything Belongs Thrice 3:53
  7. 6 My Soul Thrice 3:23
  8. 7 A Branch in the River Thrice 3:49
  9. 8 Hold Up a Light Thrice 3:29
  10. 9 Blood On Blood Thrice 4:35
  11. 10 Beyond the Pines Thrice 5:32

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