Common Existence

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Common Existence
Studio album by Thursday
Released February 17, 2009
Recorded August–November 2008
Tarbox Road Studios
Cassadaga, New York
Genre Screamo
Post-hardcore
Length 44:51
Label Epitaph
Producer Dave Fridmann
Thursday chronology
Thursday / Envy
(2008)
Common Existence
(2009)
No Devolución
(2011)

Common Existence is the fifth full-length album from rock band Thursday. It was released on February 17, 2009 on Epitaph Records.[1] The band began recording at Dave Fridmann's Tarbox Road Studios on August 11, 2008. The album was completed in November 2008.[2]

Song information[edit]

The band explores many subjects, including marriage (”Last Call”), fatherhood (”As He Climbed the Dark Mountain”), and physical abuse (”Time’s Arrow”).[3]

In a March 2009 interview, Rickly explained the album's title refers to humanity's shared experience, and that many of the songs were influenced by the words of his favorite poets and authors.

Almost every song on the record is connected to a different writer. The first song, "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" is influenced by Denis Johnson's Resuscitation of a Hanged Man. Another song is based on a book Martin Amis's Time's Arrow. The whole record also has a lot of themes from Roberto Bolano, a poet who wrote The Savage Detectives and a few other things. The song "Circuits of Fever" is very influenced by [writer] David Foster Wallace.[4]

.

The album includes the track "As He Climbed The Dark Mountain," which previously appeared on the band's split EP with Japanese hardcore band Envy. The song "Last Call" originates from 2005 when five demos were leaked. While the first four were released on A City by the Light Divided, "Last Call" had not been released up until now.

On December 9, 2008, the band released the first new track from the album, "Resuscitation of a Dead Man", on their MySpace page.[5] In early February, another new track, "Friends in the Armed Forces", was released for streaming on the band's MySpace page.[6] In successive interviews with Spin.com and Rock Sound, keyboard player Andrew Everding and vocalist Geoff Rickly explained the track's significance:

"[The song] is about a personal experience that Geoff had with someone we know who's serving in the Iraq conflict. It can be forced down your throat to support someone who's fighting for a cause you don't believe in... We support you as people but we don't support your efforts."[6] - Andrew Everding, Rock Sound interview

"I have a close friend in the service and several others that have finished their tours... The song was inspired by my conversations with them and by my conversations with their family members. It's about the shifting of perspective when it comes to wrong and right - ultimately, the song is a wish for peace and wellbeing for my friends."[7] - Geoff Rickly, Spin.com interview

A music video was filmed for "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" which features various pyrotechnics such as sparks falling around the band. Footage includes the band performing in a red room and urgent scenes of a man being rushed on a gurney. Later on, Thursday's amplifiers become engulfed in fire as well. In an interview on No. 1 Countdown, band members stated that all pyrotechnics were indeed real and frequently singed their hair.

On September 15, 2009 Thursday with release a digital exclusive deluxe edition of Common Existence with five bonus tracks, the music video for "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" and a digital booklet.[8]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (72/100) [9]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [10]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars [11]
Drowned in Sound (7/10) [12]
Entertainment Weekly B- [13]
musicOMH 3.5/5 stars [14]
PopMatters 6/10 stars [15]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars [16]
Slant 3.5/5 stars [17]
Spin (7/10) [18]
USA Today 2.5/4 stars [19]

The album so far has a score of 72 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[9] AbsolutePunk gave it an 88% and said, "Over the course of the last few years, Thursday has seemed to be the forgotten band, one we take for granted. But with Common Existence, Thursday will be knocking down doors throughout 2009."[20] Punknews.org gave it a score of four stars out of five and said, "true return to indie-dom, Common Existence is a good fit for Epitaph. Both sides prove they still know what good post-hardcore music sounds like. [...] Common Existence washes the bad taste of Sage Francis and Escape the Fate right out. The record is somehow forward-thinking, further pushing the more atmospheric approach glimpsed at on the band's split with Envy last year, yet speckled with retro stylings of previous albums.[21] Sputnikmusic also gave it four stars out of five and stated, "Just when Thursday seems to stir in unfamiliar, unwanted territory, they manage to find a way to make it happen."[22] The A.V. Club gave it a B and said it was "the band’s densest, most accomplished album to date, with sonic layers and the complexity of a big-budget record, without the bloat."[23] NME gave it a score of seven out of ten and called it "a worthy addition to Thursday’s canon."[24]

Other reviews are average, mixed or negative: Blender gave it a score of three stars out of five and said it "amps up the band’s aggro guitars, cookie-monster yells and proggy ambition."[9] Billboard gave it an average review and said it "melds the band's hardcore influences with shoegaze and atmospheric elements, with mixed results."[9] The New York Times also gave it an average review and called it "the least pungent and immediate Thursday album since its debut. In places it sounds like an experiment, sometimes a successful one."[25] Melodic.net gave it a score of one-and-a-half stars out of five and called it "one of the biggest letdowns".[26]

Track listing[edit]

All music by Thursday. All lyrics by Geoff Rickly.

  1. "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" – 3:21
  2. "Last Call" – 4:03
  3. "As He Climbed the Dark Mountain" – 3:01
  4. "Friends in the Armed Forces" – 4:10
  5. "Beyond the Visible Spectrum" – 3:59
  6. "Time's Arrow" – 4:13
  7. "Unintended Long Term Effects" – 2:18
  8. "Circuits of Fever" – 5:07
  9. "Subway Funeral" – 4:18
  10. "Love Has Led Us Astray" – 4:39
  11. "You Were the Cancer" – 5:49

Digital deluxe edition bonus tracks

  1. "Fake Nostalgia" – 3:22
  2. "Common Existence" – 3:53
  3. "The Worst Vow" – 3:14
  4. "Circuits of Fever (Innerpartysystem remix)" – 4:12
  5. "Love Has Led Us Astray (original demo)" – 3:00

Personnel[edit]

Thursday

  • Geoff Rickly – vocals
  • Tom Keeley – guitar, vocals
  • Steve Pedulla – guitar, vocals
  • Tim Payne – bass guitar
  • Tucker Rule – drums
  • Andrew Everding – keyboards, synthesizers, vocals

Additional Musicians

Production

  • Produced, recorded, and mixed by Dave Fridmann
  • Engineered by Dave Fridmann, Andrew Everding, Joseph Pedulla and Karla Allen
  • Mastered by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone

Art

  • Photography by Michael Brandt, Dennis Keeley and Mike Chapman
  • Layout by Nick Pritchard

Charts[edit]

Album
Chart (2006) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 56

References[edit]

External links[edit]