About a year ago, Thrice announced they were not breaking up. They were however, “taking a break from being a full-time band” and wrapped up their Farewell Tour over the summer that was “the last one for the foreseeable future.” That tour was a celebration of the band’s career and has culminated with the release of Anthology, a live double album that spans tracks from the band’s seven major releases.
Anthology is basically the same as Live at the House of Blues from 2008, but with more weight and finality. Mostly the same tracks, played exactly the same (meaning, awesomely), with a slightly better mix. Being their last tour, Thrice do bust out some rarities like “Phoenix Ignition” and “T&C” along with newer material like “In Exile” and “Anthology.” “Under a Killing Moon” and “Deadbolt” bring the shred and “Digital Sea” and “Daedalus” show off the band’s progression. The band sounds great and that’s either because they’re giving their all on their final tour or they’ll tighter than ever and totally not breaking up.
Thrice is a polarizing band. They came out the vibrant Orange country punk scene in the early 2000’s and have never made the same record. There is a logical progression to their career and they possess one of most interesting and exciting music catalogs of the past decade. The Artist in the Ambulance is a sonic masterpiece. The Alchemy Index challenges listeners with its concept and creativity. Beggars shows that they can be a rock band and not hide behind effects and riffs.
As a fan, I don’t really care about the drama behind Thrice’s decision to take a break. I just care that Dustin Kensrue, Teppei Teranishi, Riley Breckenridge and Ed Breckenridge won’t be making music together again anytime soon, and that’s a bummer. Anthology is a solid live record and a nice parting gift for fans. But what would be better is the group being honest about its future. Bands break up. People move on and the music lives on. If Thrice comes back in a few years, great, but cryptic endings leave fans confused and disappointed when their hope is never realized.