Thursday / Envy: Split
Temporary Residence

Kindred spirits Thursday (vocalist Geoff Rickly, guitarists Tom Keeley and Steve Pedulla, keyboardist Andrew Everding, bassist Tim Payne, drummer Tucker Rule) and Envy (Tetsuya Fukagawa, Nobukata Kawai, Masahiro Tobita, Manabu Nakagawa, Dairoku Seki) tear through seven tracks on this thirty-four-minute split disc.

Rickly's vocals roar over the band's hyperventilated riffology in the frenetic opener “As He Climbed the Dark Mountain” and even more fiery “An Absurd and Unrealistic Dream of Peace” (it's amazing that his singing can be heard over the sonic maelstrom produced by the band). The instrumental cuts “In Silence” and “Appeared and Was Gone” (the latter a remix of the former by Mercury Rev's Anthony Molina) are anything but secondary. The crushing “In Silence” roars like some grandiose fireball shooting from a black hole though a quieter piano interlude at the song's center offers momentary relief from the seething tumult. Molina's version initially brings forth the group's melancholic side before letting it rip the roof off during the second half. A subdued end to the song provides a perfect segue into Envy's “An Umbrella Fallen Into Fiction” which proves Envy's eminently capable of playing with refinement and taste when it wants to. The song's delicate guitar lines and whispered vocals give way, however, to the group's trademark wail and Tetsuya Fukagawa's familiar bark in the closing minutes. “Isolation of a Light Source” is very much in the Envy tradition, so to speak, with the band stoking hellacious fire while the closing “Pure Birth and Loneliness” offers a more nuanced portrait in its move from restrained dramatics to slow-burning euphoria. Listeners with an appetite for “thoughtful face-melters” (as the promo text states) may need to strap themselves in during this intense ride.

November 2008