Like many bands that've been around the aisle a few times, Thursday bookended the first phase of their career by celebrating 2001's Full Collapse LP with a 10th-anniversary tour. The crowd-pleasing trek reminded the aging punk in all of us that post-hardcore's second wave crested during George W. Bush's first term. Back then, groups like Glassjaw and Thrice sounded as vital as "screamo" did the first time around, when half of Dischord's roster had more in common with Morrissey — lyrically speaking, at least — than Minor Threat.
Geoff Rickly has always been Thursday's clearest Smiths fan, but the wiry frontman isn't alone in the diverse tastes department. Let's just say there's a reason why they've worked with the Flaming Lips' unofficial fourth member (producer Dave Fridmann) on three straight records — they'd rather write an arty rock album than soundtrack next summer's Warped Tour. Or, as Rickly told Spin.com in the months leading up to No DevolucÃon, "We were always tempering our desire to make something that was more graceful, more sweeping, and this record was the first one where we said, 'You know what? Who cares?'"
Well, a few of the more closed-minded fans might — but they'll get over it as soon as "Fast To the End" tramples everything in sight, boasting shifting tempos, wild, expressive riffs, and an overriding sense that we're all in this together…and we're driving straight off a cliff. "Open Quotes" and the Deftones-indebted "Turnpike Divides" are likely to please longtime fans, but they're exceptions to No DevoucÃon's rule, really — reminders of where Thursday came from as they hurtle, full speed ahead, into the future. Everything else — those shimmering keys, cloud-scraping chords and patient peak/valley dynamics — sounds like a basement punk taking lessons from Explosions in the Sky or Sigur RÃ³s.
To quote the album's curtain-closer — an anthem-in-waiting that lasts eight majestic minutes — every last experiment stays true to the ethos of following no one but yourself. After all, what's more punk than starting a song with a synth line straight out of A Clockwork Orange ("Empty Glass")? Or tossing an accordion into the mix, only to have it swept away by a series of hail storm hooks ("A Gun In the First Act")?
Nothing; absolutely nothing.