THICK: 5 Years Behind (Epitaph) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, January 24th, 2021  

THICK

5 Years Behind

Epitaph

Mar 12, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Learning their craft via the gritty DIY scene and underground bars of Brooklyn and New York, punk trio THICK emerge into the daylight clutching a dazzling debut album full of frenetic energy, laced with anger, humor, killer guitar riffs, and soaring punk melodies.

The band, who comprise of Nikki Sisti on guitar, drummer Shari Page and bassist Kate Black, have made a name for themselves with their frenzied fun-packed live shows and they've masterfully succeeded in capturing that live energy on their first long-player, 5 Years Behind. It's an album imbued with a swashbuckling attitude, that fizzes with passion employing empathy, charm, humor, and, where necessary, rage.  

Title track "5 Years Behind" opens proceedings replete with buoyant guitar riffs but also a vague sense of weariness and anxiety at the pace modern of life. The trio express concerns about falling behind, being judged, and not living up societal or parental expectations. The glorious riot grrrl infused "Sleeping Through the Weekend" continues this theme. But when the band sing "all my life is passing by/my friends all changed and/so have I" the desire to shake things up becomes apparent and anger starts to kick in. 

 

Former single "Bumming Me Out" addresses the negative feeling induced by constant news alerts, which on the hour, seem to predict the collapse of society as we know it. Whilst "Fake News" makes a virtue out of brevity—"Hungry for apps to feed your brain/Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling 'til you go insane"—and rattles along at such a pace it manages to make Ramones sound positively pedestrian. 

 

"Mansplain" is sandwiched between a montage of patronising and deeply sexist comments that the band themselves have actually experienced—"If they were guys I'm not sure if people would really be into this," "I wouldn't really recommend a fender to a Woman," "Are those your boyfriend's drums?" It's staggering that in 2020 female musicians still face this sort of arrant oak headed fuckwittery. THICK quite rightly call it out, mocking these ludicrous attitudes with vitriol and sardonic wit-—"Thanks for explaining/How to play guitar/If it wasn't for your help/We wouldn't get this far."

 

The evocative anthemic "Won't Back Down" is a track of solidarity and a tune one could imagine fans bonding over and coalescing around at a festival, a real lighter in the air moment, full of determination anger, energy, and hope. Throughout the album, there are echoes of punk icons of yore such as The Clash and The Au-Pairs and modern influences such as early Tom DeLonge-era Blink 182, Le Tigre, and Bikini Kill to create epic speedball punk such as "Your Mom" and album closer "Party With Me."

 

In this perilous era of pseudo-populism wherein there's a marked backward slide toward abhorrent attitudes, prejudices, and political persuasions that we all hoped were left dead and buried in the past, THICK offer an explosive, frenetic and often joyous slice of rebellion and hope. They may sing "Never knew I'd be so tired/Fighting for what I believe" but they know it is worth fighting the good fight. Indeed it's the duty of us all to kick against the pricks, through thick and through thin. (www.thick.band)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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