Before the major change in their sound on 2005s Vheissue, Thrice were known for fast, hard heavy rock which stood out with tight starts and stops, sick guitar riffs, and some passionate lyrics packaged in full throated warbling or screaming.
The Artist in the Ambulance (2003) saw them at the heights of the hard rock powers. Any song on this album is worthy of banger status. However, only one can be chosen. Like the gathering force behind their social concerns on some songs such as “The Artist in the Ambulance” or “Stare at the Sun,” the banger chosen focuses on dealing with a an unjust society where some are deemed guilty and other innocent so long as they follow along.
Today’s banger is about “watching witches burn.” There’s suggested injustice at who has been chosen to be witches and with the singer and audience watching them as they burn being encouraged to remain silent “or suffer the same fate.” However, while all of this watching is happening there’s complicity as well as “the blood on our black gloves / it is none of your concern.” So, then, perhaps the silence of crowd is an unjust indictment of the witches who have stood apart or perhaps simply stood up and refused to be silent.
Whatever it is, the music, like flames engulfing bodies, rises in ferocity and swirls. It’s an excellent rock song embodying a hardcore passion that makes their later move to more electronic experimental music a sharp deviation. Check out the rest of this album for more goodness.