Time to grow out the fringe and sweep it nonchalantly over the eye. Keep the head angled slightly down. Take on the mantle of introversion, exude introspection and sing the sweet melancholic songs of longing and loss in metered poetry. And add the melodrama, oh sweet draught of melodrama.
Thursday’s appeal was always the everyday quality of singer Geoffrey Rickley’s voice which needed all the echo available on the mixers’ table to give it depth. It was that mixed with the irony free impassioned lyrics that spoke of disillusionment, agony in suburban confines, and depression. The crashing guitars and drums kept tempo with the drawn out laments.
Since their music video for “Understanding in a Car Crash” (2001) off of their incredible album Full Collapse, many songs have viewed the theme of inevitable disaster or end smashing through our realities without prior warning.
This week’s banger is a fair representation of their hardest sound. The album A City by the Light Divided (2006) found them exploring softer more elaborate music, but the fourth song, “At This Velocity”, channels every stumbly, head-banger they had written to date. Beginning with the last sound of an “ok”- seemingly said to someone in the recording booth- the song immediately enters its fray. Contrasting what was once “safe” but is now “paralyzed” the remainder of the song is about an impending death via a terrifying fall from a plane with enough time to consider the fear and inevitability of that death. As the song enters its last verse, there seems to be a chance for hope. There seems to be some redemption as the tempo slows and the chance of being “safe here forever” is floated but what at first seems wholesome becomes a recorded message of demise directed to parents who did their best. It’s emotional, and clocking in under 3 minutes, it leaves you wanting more.