Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Favorite Sunday AM Album - Thrice - Vhiessu


Sunday mornings.  No work.  No school.  Doing whatever you please...  but always having the thought in the back of your mind that you are going to have to go back to reality the next day.  When trying to pick an album for a Sunday at home, I thought about what I’d prefer to listen to during a time like that.  I settled on an album that I believe is the single greatest album of all time.  It is just my opinion, and I am ok with differing views.  However, when I think about the music I want to be the soundtrack to my Sunday (or any day really), I think of Thrice’s masterpiece, Vhiessu. 
This album goes beyond music for me.  It is named after Thomas Pynchon’s novel V.   This novel is a time-altered generational story just dripping in surrealism.  Thrice’s music hits where this literary marvel does.  It doesn’t stick to one type of music.  All of Thrice’s work as a band led to this one particular point in their career for me.  I loved every album by the band, but Vhiessu will in all likelihood be my favorite and most meaningful album until the day I die. 

What makes it special?  I have to start with Dustin Kensrue.  In no way, shape, or form am I using hyperbole when I say he is one of the greatest vocalists and lyricists of all time.  He can growl and scream with such ferocity that it takes your breath away… but it is his incredible singing pipes that set him apart.  Earthy and raw with amazing pitch and tone, Kensrue creates a world of emotion and love through his words.  I am no overly religious person, but Dustin borrows heavily from the Christian world.  However, he puts it out there in way that isn’t pushy.  He just sings about what he believes, and it is beautiful.  “So put your faith in more than steal, don’t store your treasures up in moth and rust where thieves break in and steal.  Remove the fangs from out your heel, oh we live in but a shadow of the real” he sings over a sweeping chorus of tapped guitar riffs and heavy percussion.  Those lyrics are tattooed on my leg, and I don’t regret one inked word.  I relate to him, because he is relatable. 

His band is phenomenal as well.  Teppei Teranishi is an incredible song writer.  He rips guitars to shreds.  He plays the piano like a maestro.  He sings.  He probably dances.  Who knows?  He’s crazy good at everything he touches and is a personal inspiration to my music writing.  The percussive duo of Ed and Riley Breckenridge round out the formidable quartet, with thundering percussion and bass throughout this magnificent experience. 

In case you can’t tell, I am really passionate about this album.  It taught me many things growing up.  It showed me that I was “more than carbon and chemicals, we are the image of the invisible”.  It taught me that I should always reach for more in my life and “dream of ways to break these iron bars”.  It even foreshadowed major events in my life.  “The winds a cheating wife, her tongue a thirsty knife, and she can take your life, with one good kiss”.  This album means everything to me musically.  I will cherish this piece of art for as long as I live, and I hope one day Thrice reads this album and understands that I want to thank them for everything that they have done in my life and for what they’ve always meant to me.  You have enriched my life in ways that artists have no business doing, but routinely do for people all over the world.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 
Behold the power of music.

--The Professor


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