In the post-hardcore pantheon, the New Jersey guys of Thursday are millennial gods. Led by the unapologetically erudite frontman Geoff Rickly, in the late 90s and early 00s, their early loud-soft aesthetic helped define what would later come to be known often pejoratively as screamo. That accomplishment has been both a blessing and a curse, and 2009 finds the band in a strange marketing position. To those who gave the band only a cursory listen from the beginning, the misapplied genre tag, long inaccurate, has been hard to shake. To younger kids who have grown up with derivative screamo sounds in mainstream rock, Thursday is, funnily, not screamo enough. This was evident during the bands last local stop at Revolution just a few months ago, when Thursday headlined the teen-skewing Taste of Chaos tour. By the time the group played its evening closer, most of the mall set had wandered outside the club for a meet-and-greet with the younger and louder English act Bring Me the Horizon.
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Still, the open-eared have continued to embrace Thursday, and the most loyal fans have followed the band through increasingly weird musical terrain. Thursdays most recent album, Common Existence, was released this past February on Epitaph Records and flies free of genre constraints. The disc is crushing when it needs to be, but at other times spacey, stamped with the undeniable influence of British shoegaze acts such as Ride and My Bloody Valentine. Meanwhile, Ricklys stylized lyrical narratives are, he says, influenced by authors such as David Foster Wallace, Martin Amis, and even Thomas Pynchon. Perhaps thats too heady for people who simply want to hear guttural yells about naked desire. Others, however, will find much to chew on, and this headlining spot not aimed at Hot Topic shoppers this time should find the crowd much more amenable to Rickly and companys flights of fancy.