Thank You : Golden Worry

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To be quite honest, Thank You’s last album went over my head. The noise auteurs were too discordant and too abstract; despite flashes of groove, the band too often spun into the outer reaches, too far away to grasp. I understand that it is art rock, but until Golden Worry, the conclusion has been, “This isn’t for me.”

Since forming in 2006, Thank You has been a force on the Baltimore music scene, and their experimental nature and unrelenting barrage of sound justifies the acclaim. But in the interim between 2008’s Terrible Two and Golden Worry, the trio has discovered – and embraced – linear melody, often only a couple of licks away from spiraling out of control. The treble-saturated, frenetic guitars of “1-2-3 Bad” are raucous, but tenable, fueled by resilient repetition that gives it a post-tribal feel. “Birth Reunion” morphs from aimless trills into a bombastic juggernaut of guitars and drums, building unexpected crescendos from garbage-can sound. The album-closing “Can’t/Can” is perhaps the most defining moment of Golden Worry; with its Brit-rock verse, propulsive rhythms, and the band’s trademark guitar scraps, it is a furious synthesis of the old and new Thank you.

Stylistic shifts are fodder for naysayers, and there are surely Thank You die-hards that will scream “sell-out” at first whimper of a more tuneful tenure for the band. But the noise remains at the heart of this group, and it bleeds into Golden Worry willingly; however, the discordant ambles offer contrast to the harmonious highs, making this the band’s most thrilling release to date.

Golden Worry is out now on Thrill Jockey Records.

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