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Thrice
THE ILLUSION OF SAFETY
(SUB CITY)

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In theory, SoCal hardcore kids Thrice fall under the screamo umbrella, which is a funny way of saying theyíre a smart pop-punk band with a frontman who screams as much as he sings. But these guys are also into good old-fashioned í80s-style heavy metal, and thatís what sets them apart from the countless other well-meaning hybrids on the all-ages scene. Singer Dustin Kensrue is the boy genius behind it all: he works references to death into half the song titles and purges his emo demons without ever turning into a cry-baby. His bandmates are also a cut above their peers: stunt guitarist Teppei Teranishi goes for Maiden more than Sunny Day, and the rhythm section shifts effortlessly between carefree pop punk and growling hardcore.

The bracing power ballad "Trust" is the discís most sensitive high point; on the next song, "To Awake and Avenge the Dead," the band conjure the precision and the fury of Dillinger Escape Plan. "So Strange I Remember You" opens with a tender Hendrix guitar riff but quickly turns into a bruising Metallica slugfest, and thatís as good an indication as any of the groupís thoughtful sense of dynamics. Many contemporary hardcore bands claim a similar stylistic versatility, but few integrate their disparate influences as seamlessly as Thrice.

(Thrice open for Face to Face, Midtown, and the Movielife on Saturday April 13 at Axis. Call 617-423-NEXT.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON

Issue Date: April 4 - 11, 2002
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