Thursday’s War All The Time will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this upcoming weekend, and PropertyOfZack is launching our next installment of the Decade feature in honor of the record. We have commentary on the album from POZ team members Zac Lomas, Adrienne Ray Fisher, and Zack Zarrillo. Enjoy the read and reblog to let us know your thoughts on War All The Time ten years later!
Legacy of War All The Time
While the idea of “screamo” bears a different definition for those between music generations, when Thursday broke out into the scene with Full Collapse, the band was immediately pegged with the term. Their music was emotional. It screamed. What other genre name could so neatly encapsulate two of their most obvious characteristics? The ball truly got rolling for Thursday with Full Collapse, but it was War All the Time where the band began to showcase the cracks in the concrete “screamo” definition by which they, for better or worse, had come to be known. Thursday had always been introspective, but fierce and fiery; War All the Time boasted one of the first Thursday presentations that proved that the band was capable of writing a sonically toned-down song that was just as potent and staggering as anything that had already been belted, screamed, and sweated out in a New Brunswick basement.
Many blamed the music “softening” to their new home at major label Island Def Jam, but in reality, WATT boasts a type of cultural significance that Full Collapse just didn’t quite nail. For that, it’s become an extremely potent snapshot of the unrest felt by American youth post-9/11. The record specifically delineated a lot of maligned social and political issues, especially pertinent at the time but still bearing meaning throughout the ages. From life’s lost meaning via corporate greed in “For the Workforce, Drowning” to the exploitation of sexuality in “Signals Over the Air,” to the seemingly pointed 9/11 references in both “This Song Brought to You by a Falling Bomb” and the title track, the scene set by this record is done brilliantly and beautifully, but it’s a dark, desperate, and despondent scene that we see. Yet, interestingly enough, the band denies that the record was written with a strict political agenda - and if one reads well enough into the lyrics, they’ll find they can easily be molded to interpret more internal, personal situations as well as larger, societal ones.
For that, WATT has a firm footing in history as a detailed depiction of what it meant to experience societal torment at that time, but it also remains important in the scene today, transcending time and new generations of music fans by being an amazingly well-written record both musically and lyrically. – Adrienne Ray Fisher (@adriennerayfish)
Most important song on the album
War All The Time fits snugly into my list of “perfect” albums, i.e. albums whose entire tracklisting flows together so well that it would be an injustice not to listen to it in full. So it’s an arduous task to choose justone track as the most important, but upon multiple listens, “War All The Time,” the album’s title track, stands out as the obvious choice. Borrowing its name from a lesser-known collection of Charles Bukowski’s poetry, which avows that love is, in fact, war all the time, the song espouses the same pain so often present in the California native’s poetry. Touching on a string of suicides that circulated through the New Jersey region during singer Geoff Rickly’s childhood, the song is emotionally gripping, with subtle references to the “lullaby of carbon monoxide” making for a most macabre sonic atmosphere. In fact, I would argue that “War All The Time” is Rickly’s zenith as a lyricist, providing the most resonantly poetic lyrics of the band’s career. – Zac Lomas (@infidelegate)
How War All The Time holds up in 2013
There are a few select albums in every genre that open the door to the magic that lies within it. Whether you want to call Thursday a post-hardcore, screamo, or whatever type of band, War All The Time is one of those albums that if found in 2003, 2007, 2012, and (presumably) in 2020, that will always shed light on something great. You can hear the sounds of 2003 moving throughout War All The Time, but a great album is one that is not limited to an era, and Thursday managed that with this release more than Full Collapse and perhaps the rest of their catalog as well.