While Thursday spearheaded the popularization of emo in the ’00s, it also managed to rise above the mall-punk fray by staying rooted in the passion and progressiveness of ’90s post-hardcore. But with its fifth album, 2008’s Common Existence, Thursday transitioned from major-label mid-lister to Epitaph Records signee—and that renewed independence has found its full expression on the new No Devolución. Where Common Existence took the group’s complex, melodic sound to the height of precision and fidelity, No Devolución drops it off the rooftop. And it makes a gorgeous noise going down.
Written and recorded in a matter of days with Dave Fridmann, a producer better known for sweeping, expansive indie rock, the album boasts murky puddles of synthesizer, jagged drums, and a sheen of white static that subverts almost every role each instrument is expected to play. Frontman Geoff Rickly swimming along in them; his parables of loss and devotion—from the desolate matrimonial tableau of “Empty Glass” to the aching infatuation of “Magnets Caught In A Metal Heart”—trawl the depths of a heart that’s never been far from the sleeve. As raw yet coldly deliberate as self-surgery, No Devolución isn’t a return to form for Thursday; it’s a searing, scarring reinvention.