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Thoughtcrimes - Altered Pasts

Thoughtcrimes
Altered Pasts
by Jessica Smith at 24 October 2022, 5:47 AM

Formed by previous DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN drummer (Billy Rymer), THOUGHTCRIMES is here with their first full-length album since the band got their start in 2019. Altered Pasts is a whirlwind experience that I had to listen to twice and do a little digging to really “get” the vision, but I’m glad I did. The record label company describes this album as “the perfect soundtrack for the quasi-dystopian times we find ourselves in”. It was when I read this that the album clicked for me- the loud, chaotic, violent messiness of it met with moments of ethereal vocalizing similar in the manner of Deftones. Without further adieu, let’s explore deeper.

“Panopticon” starts the album fast and heavy with a quick warning of drumsticks tapping together and throwing us straight into an explosion of noise. This song is drum heavy with kick beats and brutal scream singing that unexpectedly changes into an elegant melody that gives that “floaty” feeling right at the end before tossing you right back into the madness with “Mirror Glue”. This track has the most mixing of “noise” on the album that took deeper digging to appreciate. It’s sound is reminiscent to the first song, but toss in some chaotic synth tapping that sounds almost so out of place that you wonder if it’s even from this planet. We get another quick dose of heaviness in “Keyhole Romance” before the true shoe gaze intro at the end of this track and heavily present in the next “New Infinites”.

The most interesting choice on this album is found in the title track “Altered Pasts” which is 68 seconds of industrial sounding synths met with distorted screams in the background. In an interview Rymer shared “there’s total freedom of outcome”, so it checks out that they took this chance to do whatever they want. It’s a brief moment of “what the hell is going on” before sliding right back into the heavy uproar in “Dare I Say”. Just when you thought we had our intermission, “Hai un Accendino” (translated to “do you have a lighter” in English)- a spoken word track, sends you spiraling into the inner monologue of a character in a dark and smoky bar. A shrill guitar riff snaps us back into reality with “Conscience on Tilt”, a familiar pattern of heavy faded into melodic vocals that we also hear one more time in “The Drowning Man”. For the last two track of the album we get one last switch up- “Deathbed Confessions” which is the most brutally violent song on the album and “Lunar Waves” that is just as hypnotic as the title. It’s one of those songs you listen to while staring out a rainy window looking at the world we live in, because we all do that right?

I would normally say “give this album a chance” because we all have a different experience with music, but for the first time I believe I will say be sure to give this album two chances. One listen at surface level,  and one to really hear all that went into the flow and enjoy the ride.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Panopticon
2. Mirror Glue
3. Keyhole Romance
4. New Infinities
5. Altered Pasts
6. Dare I Say
7. Hai Un Accendino
8. Conscience on Tilt
9. The Drowning Man
10. Deathbed Confessions
11. Lunar Waves
Lineup:
Rick Pepa - Vocals
Brian Sullivan - Guitar
Russ Savarese - Guitar
Cody Hosza - Bass
Billy Rymer - Drums
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
     


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