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Commuter Reviews: Thrice "Palms"

Thrice “Palms” / Epitaph 2018

Thrice “Palms” / Epitaph 2018

I love Thrice. Almost unconditionally. But “Palms” isn’t the record I want from this band. It isn’t another stunning, creatively vibrant album. It’s just fine. I’m not mad, just disappointed. 

As truly fantastic as the wirey guitar tones and incredible bass and drum work on this album sound, the songs just aren’t up to it. It almost feels like the band don’t want to indulge the aspects of that sound that are heavier or more experimental in case their “mature” pals giggle at them a bit. Compared to past records the sonic risks taken on these tracks is timid at best. 

That “The Dark” is one of the key singles of this record says it all. A boring, turgid composition that isn’t anywhere near as insightful or anthemic as it thinks it is. Lyrically it wrecks of a down 15 year old who studied metaphors in English that morning. I also don’t see the point in a choir of voices that just sounds like 3 voices in a cavern of reverb over a boring instrumental that confuses space with bombast.

This album isn’t awful. It’s just fine. But I’ll not be desperate to hear these songs live, add them to playlists or revisit this album in the same way I have every other Thrice record. This feels very much like a band treading water. That said, to be fair to Thrice, they are much better swimmers than most.