Reviews \

Thrice is the Magic Number

PHILADELPHIA: With three bands and at least as many distinctive sounds, fans received the proverbial 'bang for your buck.'

With bangs dangling in their eyes and hoodies pulled over theirheads, rockers from across Philly braved the cold and made a pilgrimageto the Electric Factory last night (Dec. 6) to experience a holytrinity of post-hardcore madness. Hometown heroes mewithoutYouopened for the sold-out crowd, cramming its five members onstagealongside a few additional musical helpers. Wielding an assortment ofstringed instruments, tribal drums, and strange keyboards, the bandcreated a melodic power drone to back up the madman ravings lead singerAaron Weiss.

Later, Brand New ended the night bybringing out the hits. While not as adventurous as the two precedingbands, their big choruses evoked the populist vibe in the room. But inbetween the two was Thrice, clearly the big thrill of the evening,which earned their name by playing three distinctly different types ofsongs. The Irvine, CA-based stalwarts ripped into their set withcatchy, sweetheart punk filled with soaring harmonies, but soontransformed into a metal beast with huge, chunky riffs and razor sharpsoloing. The highlight of their set was the aptly named “Digital Sea,”off of their new album, The Alchemy Index Volume I & II.Digital drums, distorted vocals, and lullaby pianos swirled together toexemplify the band’s third sound. They ended their set with theunreleased and mostly acoustic track “Come All Ye Weary,” a previewfrom the forthcoming Alchemy Index volumes, and further evidence of Thrice’s diverse musical prowess.

We asked: Thrice’s new album, The Alchemy Index, Vols. I & II: Fire & Water,is named after an ancient practice best known for its attempts tochange coal into gold by subtracting a molecule. If you could changecoal into anything else in this universe, what would it be?