Thursday does hard rock with heart

“I don’t consider myself a singer,” said Geoff Rickly, lead vocalist for Thursday. “I think of myself as a writer in front of a microphone. I just want to get my point across.” Since their debut CD in 2000, Thursday has been doing just that.

Formed while still in high school, Thursday has taken the idea of hardcore rock and run with it all the way to Island Def Jam.The six-piece New Jersey band, creators of the now popular screamo – screaming emotional hardcore rock – scene, has come a long way from playing in basements for small crowds and recording on small Indie labels.

“On our first album (in 2002), ‘Waiting,’ we barely even knew what we wanted to do,” Rickly said.

“Our second album was where we really found ourselves as a group. The third (album in 2003), ‘War of All Times,’ (first album on Island Def Jam), was very politically charged. And our latest album is more intimate. It is more experimental than anything else.”

It seems as though this experiment proved to be a successful one.

“A City By Light Divided” is Thursday’s latest installment at their Island Def Jam Records home.

With the extreme intensity of emo rock, melancholy melodies and a lead singer with a voice reminiscent of a young Axl Rose, the group’s new album is one that may ensure it a place in conversations about the most innovative bands of all time. Unlike most emo bands, which exude an exorbitant amount of energy and a minuscule amount of real musicianship and lyricism, Rickly tells stories and paints vivid pictures with each word he sings.

His creativity is exemplified most in the song “The Other Side of the Crash.” Detailing life after losing his friend in a car crash, Rickly croons over a sullen tune in this emotionally charged LP. “‘The Other Side of the Crash’ is probably our favorite song. That’s why we put it first on our album,” Rickly said. “It talks about what it’s like to live on past something traumatic and sort of have to resume a normal life.”

Although Rickly’s voice laces the entire album, the other members of Thursday are not to be forgotten.

In the group’s more dark pop-sounding song, “Counting 5-4-3-2,” drummer Tucker Rule plays in a way that almost rivals Tommy Lee in his Motley Crue days.

Guitarists Tom Keeley and Steve Pedulla add the excitement and are the heartbeat to this up-and-coming rock band. Bassist Tim Payne rounds out the group’s new Screamo sound making them a band to look out for.

“A City By Light Divided” offers a look into the soul of this five-piece rock sensation. With songs such as “At This Velocity” and “The Love Song Writer,” Thursday shows their range as lyricists and musicians with these insightful tunes that offer an in depth look at the men behind the music.

This latest CD has garnered lots of attention from music executives and other artist salike. The group’s fans also have joined in on Thursday mania. “Most fans usually throw themselves at bands,” Rickly said.

“Our fans bake us brownies.”

The group is currently headlining the 15-city Stress Tour promoting the new CD. In “A City By Life Divided” the group promises to deliver the same old Thursday in a way fans have never seen before.