My Favourite Albums To Date By Ian Albrecht:
Album- Artist In The Ambulance
Lyrics 91/100, Vocals 88/100, Instrumental 92/100
This is Thrice's third album, though first on a major label, and is an absolute masterpiece of Post-Hardcore genre albums. All the songs flowed into each other and the album has a solid sound that doesn’t get annoying or old, like more Post-Hardcore bands. Also, this album demonstrates that the Post-Hardcore genre is good for an entire album, not just one or two songs. Although at first the album seems to have a hard rock feel, Dustin Kensrue’s vocals ensure it stays in its proper place.
The only reason someone would tag them as Emo is because their lyrics and subject matter sound very depressing. The first real bad-ass song (in every way) on the album is "All That's Left". This song has a little bit of everything: awesome lyrics, great vocals, amazingly catchy riffs from Teppei and Dustin, and just a great feel, overall. Solid lyrics in this song would be:
"In summers past we'd challenge fate.
With higher pitch and perfect aim.
And standing fast, we'd radiate
a light we loved but never named.
But the answers never came
and our shadows never looked the same."
The above quote, from my understanding, is simply talking about death and how the band questions if there is a heaven, hell, or if you live in limbo, still attached to the earth?
The next song worth addressing is "Stare At The Sun" which is a song that seems to question why horrible things happen to good people, and why is it that no matter what you choose, it seems you made the wrong decision? Probably my second favourite lyrics on the whole album is on this song:
"Do I trust my heart or just my mind,
why is truth so hard to find.
In this world, yeah in this world."
Hereis is great writing because it is simple yet speaks to today’s world and to our struggle to make some serious decisions that sometimes go against our hearts, or ideals. The chorus in that song is also super catchy.
Now, my favourite song, and arguably the best song on this album is "Artist In The Ambulance". I could write an entire review on this song because I believe it has many metaphorical allusions as well as literal references. The song starts with lyrics which paint an amazing picture:
"Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal.
Red light, can't stop so I spin the wheel.
My world goes black before I feel an angel lift me up
and I open bloodshot eyes into fluorescent white.
They flip the siren, hit the lights, close the doors and I am gone."
The song’s initial intent is clear - it is about the lead singer getting into a car accident, but the rest of the song goes on to theorize about whether he's done enough, or contributed enough in his lifetime? Has he been wasting his life and does he need to reevaluate. and furthermore revisit specific times, so that he may give back to others. It’s a huge question of morality, life, and legacy. Later in the song:
"My world goes black before I feel an angel steal me
from the greedy jaws of death and chance,
and pull me in with steady hands.
They've given me a second chance,
the artist in the ambulance."
Here, he is talking about himself and his sheer will to survive; or about someone else who had the ability to bring him about… or… is there an artist who is orchestrating all of our lives, giving people a second chance (a do-over) at life? You will have to form your own opinion regarding the intent of this song.
Songs To Check Out: Artist In The Ambulance, Stare At The Sun, The Melting Point Of Wax, Blood Clots And Black Holes