3hree Things: Thrice's Riley Breckenridge's New Weekly Column

Riley Breckenridge, the drummer of our favorite Irvine alt-rock band, Thrice, starts his weekly column today. He's going to blog about everything from local haunts to his favorite bands, so watch out for your weekly dose of Riley's 3hree Things.

Although we're only halfway through 2010, it has already proven
itself to be a fantastic year for new music. The month of May alone,
with new releases from the Black Keys, the National, Band Of Horses,
Broken Social Scene
, Sleigh Bells, Minus The Bear, and Deftones could
have carried us through the dog days of summer on its own merit.

Inspired by May's wealth of quality music (a bounty that has effectively
set me a month or two behind because there's just not enough time to
digest so many great records and keep up with current releases) I
decided now's as good a time as any to write a few short capsules on my
three favorite records of the first half of 2010. Note that I chose to
use the word “favorite” rather than “best”, because I don't consider
myself one who knows what's best for anyone else's ears, by any means.


Local Natives, Gorilla Manor

Formerly known as
Cavil At Rest,
and recently relocated to Silverlake by way of Orange County, Local
Natives released their debut album under the new moniker in February and
have gone from being truly “local” to captivating ears and audiences
nationwide. It's a highly infectious record, rich in soaring melodies,
buttery harmonies, and energetic percussion. The hooks are so strong
(without pandering to baseline pop sensibilities) that it's the kind of
record that will have you singing along by the time you hit the second
chorus of most of the tracks, and then carrying those melodies
everywhere, in the car, in the shower, wherever you might choose to hum
the melodies that dig their claws into your conscience.

The Black Keys, Brothers

Based on their debut at No. 3 on the
Billboard chart with 73,000 copies sold first week (which in this
climate, and for a band that is considered to still have a firm hold on
its “indie” credibility, is remarkable) I know I'm running the risk of
preaching to the choir with this pick, but Brothers is just
outstanding. At fifteen tracks, and nearly an hour long, it avoids being
downtrodden with filler or repetition, and manages to stay captivating
and fresh even after multiple listens. I think a large part of that
strength can be chalked up to the quality of vocalist, Dan Auerbach's
melodies, and the flawless production and arrangements by the band,
producer, Mark Neill, and Dangermouse (“Tighten Up”.) As crowded a month
that May was for music, Brothers managed to elbow it's way to the top
of my “Most Played” list, which is a testament to its high replay

Deftones, Diamond Eyes

This pick may seem like an outlier on
this short list, but I've got a soft spot for heavy music. After what
must have been an incredibly difficult year and a half following a car
accident that left, bassist, Chi Cheng, in a coma, and a couple of
releases (2003's self-titled Deftones and 2006's Saturday Night
) that had the unenviable task of living up to the bands
definitive release (2000's White Pony) I had some doubts about this
record, especially after hearing that they'd shelved an entire record
(Eros) that they'd written with Cheng. Those doubts were put to rest
no more than six-minutes into Diamond Eyes and never resurfaced. It's a
brutally heavy record that builds on the aggression of their early
releases, expands on the dynamics, melody, and atmospheric sections that
made White Pony their masterwork, and proves that even after 22
years, the Deftones are as good as ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *