With the coronavirus pandemic keeping many of us home a lot more, we've been asking artists about the music they've been listening to in isolation, and this list comes from Thrice drummer Riley Breckenridge, who's constantly keeping up with new music and who also has been sharing some quarantine favorites in a Twitter thread that's very worth checking out.
Riley made this list on Friday (4/24) and included the new Elder album that came out that day, along with albums by Town Portal, The Ditch and the Delta, Coilguns, Drug Church, and more. Riley also offers up insightful, unique takes on each one, and if there's anything you haven't heard yet, his enthusiastic commentary makes you want to check it all out. Read on for his list...
WHAT THRICE'S RILEY BRECKENRIDGE IS LISTENING TO IN QUARANTINE
Elder - Omens (2020)
The brand new Elder LP dropped today (4/24), and it kicks ungodly amounts of ass. The band’s prior record, Reflections On A Floating World was my favorite of 2017, so I had insanely high expectations for this one. Early returns show that those expectations have been met and exceeded. I’ve had Omens playing on a loop for three hours, and I don’t see an end in sight. It’s nearly an hour of flawless psych/stoner/prog-rock that leans into post-metal/rock and classic rock & '70s metal. It’s fucking wild, an absolute must-listen, and probably a damn good record to take some mind-altering substances and melt into a couch with.
Town Portal - Of Violence (2019)
I’m pretty sure this is my favorite band on the planet right now. My friend, Scott Evans (Kowloon Walled City) introduced me to these guys a couple years ago and I’ve been absolutely obsessed with them ever since. Scott recorded and mixed this record in Copenhagen last year, and it’s perfect — the songs rule, the tones are flawless, and the mix is impeccable. There’s so much happening mathematically, musically, melodically, but it never becomes overwhelming, disorienting, or abrasive, and it sounds like coming from a six-person prog band, not a power trio. I’ve listened to their entire discography more than enough times to qualify as “beating it into the ground”, but I’m not remotely tired of any of it, and never fail to hear something new, get chills for the nth time, and have to pick my jaw off the floor when I give them a spin.
The Ditch and the Delta - S/T (2020)
One of my favorite heavy records of the year thus far. It’s really well-rounded — there are dark/semi-melodic passages, frenetic moments, pummeling breakdowns, and expansive post-rock sections. It reminds me a little of Zozobra, early Old Man Gloom, and Doomriders stuff at times, but with an infusion of new energy and creativity that makes it stand out from a lot of the standard-fare sludge I tend to listen to.
Coilguns - Watchwinders (2019)
Phenomenal, mathy, ultra-heavy noise-rock from Switzerland that has the fury of KEN Mode, Converge, and ETID and the sludgy, drop-tuned goodness of bands like Kowloon Walled City, Big Brave, and Cult Leader. Their drummer is an absolute beast, and they’ve managed to crank out two excellent LPs in the past two years, and are apparently working on another.
Square Peg Round Hole - Branches (2019)
This has been my go-to when it’s time to decompress or lean on something a little more meditative and soothing than brutally heavy post-rock/metal tends to be. It’s a really comforting, adventurous take on ambient, instrumental post-rock/classical music that fits in somewhere amidst The Album Leaf, Tycho, and the mellower moments of Sigur Ros. Just a beautiful record from front to back.
Raketkanon - Rktkn #2 (2015)
I have found myself going back to this continually since the Shelter-In-Place order came down. It’s somehow mildly soothing yet totally unnerving all at once? It’s a super groovy/rhythmic danceable sound bed with a lunatic absolutely losing his shit over the top of it. Like having a panic attack in a warm blanket, which is kinda this whole COVID-19 thing in a nutshell.
Drug Church - CHEER (2018)
I liked this band a lot before we went out on tour with them early this year, but now I LOVE them. It’s rare that I can go five weeks hearing the same songs from the same bands every night and actually want to listen to them when I get home, but I’ve been spinning the shit out of this record over the past couple months. My son’s new favorite song is “Unlicensed Hall Monitor,” which is an added bonus when a toddler asks you to play the same song 35 times in a row.
Because we could all use a little live music in our lives right now, get nostalgic with this full-set live video of Thrice in 2001:
And for something less nostalgic, here's a full-set video from the Vheissu 15th anniversary tour they did right before lockdown began:
For even more Thrice, read about The Artist In The Ambulance in our list of 15 albums that defined the 2000s post-hardcore boom.