“Black Honey,” off Thrice‘s new album To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere, is as much an allegory as it is an alt rock gem. If I were to translate it visually, it’s much like the actual cover art of the album- airwaves spilling over each other in flickering white waves, the electric subtlety of Teppei Teranishi’s guitar riff washing over Dustin Kensrue’s calculated vocals. Eddie Breckenridge’s bass drives the whole package forward, building an anticipation that’s never quite released and keeping the entire song on a delicious edge.
Lyrically speaking, “Black Honey” is shameless, an acknowledgement of a blind determination that we don’t always ask for. We’re left with not only the curiosity of a hand in a swarm of bees, but also the counterintuitive question of why the bees attack the flesh. It’s the jar of honey, though, that’s the ultimate symbol- whether it’s an individual indulgence or a universal one is up to interpretation. The desperation that marks the hammering chorus down to the last notes of the song is so primal that it becomes something startlingly familiar.
To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere is the group’s ninth studio album, riding on almost two decades of collaboration. Coming in with the hard-to-stick-a-label-on-’em wave of young rock acts of the late nineties, they’ve built up a steady following and haven’t ceased to experiment, evolve, and bring it all into the studio year after year. Thrice is a band with a message, and they make it hard to ignore. Heavily involved with charity organizations, they’re making a difference to people beyond their fan base, upholding the universal principle of compassion that is often lost, muddled, and butchered in contemporary society. Catch them at New York’s Playstation Theater this June at what will be the first show of their summer tour.