No Devolución, the sixth album by New Jersey punk/hardcore vets Thursday (out April 12 via Epitaph), is the band's most experimental effort to date, a sweeping, synth-y opus that veers farther from the band's post-hardcore roots than ever before. Hear an exclusive stream of "Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart" here:
"There are definitely going to be at least a few fans that are like, 'This isn't what I want from Thursday,'" frontman Geoff Rickly tells SPIN. "Half the reason we picked the album title is because it means, in Spanish, 'no returns.' As in, 'No returns, cause if you buy it, you got it!'"
Among the touchstones for the creative direction of No Devolución: the Cure, the Smiths, Portishead, postmodern authors Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses) and Don Delillo (White Noise), and even their home state hero, Bruce Springsteen. The sum of these parts: a record produced with the mantra "to make something really beautiful, that has power in a different way than just being heavy," Rickly says, and it's something the band's longed to do since 2003's War All the Time.
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"That record, for all the things I love about it, became way more aggressive and claustrophobic and dark than we meant it to be," the singer says. "As soon as we did that, we longed for something that was its antithesis. We were always tempering our desire to make something that was more graceful, more sweeping, and this record was the first one where we said, 'You know what? Who cares? Let's say our career is over tomorrow, who fucking cares? Let's make something beautiful.'"
"Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart" will likely be one of the most jarring new songs for the band's longtime fans, with Rickly singing in a gentle coo, laced with atmospheric effects, while Andrew Everding's keyboard swells and drummer Tucker Rule's skittish beats hog the spotlight.
Initially, Rickly didn't think the song would work for Thursday: "We started writing it during our last record and I said, 'Nah, it's too pop. I don't wanna play that. I don't even know what to do with that.' I was very uptight about it, especially since the only stuff I was listening to at the time was Envy and Fucked Up. I still wanted Thursday to be the band that we were when we played the basements and VFW Halls."
But he was eventually swayed in the studio. "This is the pop moment on the record, and we're not embarrassed of it," Rickly explains. "It was really fun to write a pop song and not be writing it because we think we might have some chance at getting a radio hit or because our label wanted us to. It's cause we don't give a fuck about punk kids telling us it's not punk to write a pop song."
The choice to release "Magnets" first was a conscious one. "This is a really different record and we thought we should just come out of the gates with a really different song," Rickly says. "If our die hard fans heard the heavy songs first, like the heavy, passionate 'Past and Future Ruins' or 'Turnpike Divides,' is it false advertising, basically? It's like a warning for our fans: You're not going to get the record you think you're going to get." Tell us what you think of "Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart" in the comments section!
No Devolución track listing
Fast to the End No Answers A Darker Forest Sparks Against the Sun Open Quotes Past and Future Ruins Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart Empty Glass A Gun in the First Act Millimeter Turnpike Divides Stay True