Friday, May 23, 2014

One Year, 100 Albums: #11 Thrice "The Artist in the Ambulance"

Thrice The Artist in the Ambulance, 2003

I read an article in Alternative Press magazine (I think) about Thrice's album The Illusion of Safety that talked about how it was just crammed full of riffs and was really good. I had heard a couple of songs on compilation albums that I liked, so I picked it up. And loved it. So when I heard they were releasing a new album, I eagerly anticipated it. The 2003 Warped Tour comp had "Under a Killing Moon" on it, so I listened attentively to try to get a handle on what this new album would sound like.

I bought The Artist in the Ambulance from a Best Buy in Virginia Beach on my way home from pulling cable at one of the High Schools. I was driving a coworker home and, when we got back in the car and I popped the album in, his complaint was that all the songs sounded the same. I can see his point, but that's only going to seem true if you aren't paying much attention. I don't begrudge him his lack of attention. I just think that anyone who's actually listening to this album will agree that it's an amazing one.

I lump this album in with Rise Against's Revolutions Per Minute in the category of "Punk Albums with Heart". The whole thing is about thinking and not letting people shut you out of learning and picking your own path. That soaring too close to the sun is sometimes the only thing you can do to truly be free.

It all culminates in the title track which is about how singing is all well and good, but it's not enough. It's a challenge the band is putting to us and also to themselves to do more than speak, to do more than sing. To try to make an actual difference in the world.

"Rhetoric can't raise the dead
I'm sick of always talking when there's no change
Rhetoric can't raise the dead
I'm sick of empty words, let's lead and not follow"

This is a song and an album that inspires me and I think that's something you don't often find.

Thrice - Cold Cash and Colder Hearts
Thrice - The Artist in the Ambulance

You can buy The Artist in the Ambulance at Amazon, Amazon MP3, and iTunes


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