Thrice The Artist in the Ambulance

When the major labels scooped up some of the most promising melodic hardcore bands, it was uncertain if the bands would stick with their original styles, or forfeit to makeovers and songwriting teams. Luckily for us, on Thrice’s major label debut, the band sounds better than ever. From the killer opening track "Cold Cash and Colder Hearts” to the infectious "All That’s Left,” Thrice manage to hang on to their signature melody-based songwriting. The innocent sounding vocal melodies battle with the aggressive yet catchy guitar parts. One of the best riffs of the year is the Arabian-sounding twangs on "The Abolition of Man.” Thrice keeps their songs short and tight, with most songs barely making it over the three minute mark. But each song is jam-packed with solid melodies and great songwriting, as well as interesting experiments with strings and keyboards. The Artist in the Ambulance is an album for Thrice fans and it doesn’t disappoint. (Island)