You know, I really wish this band didn’t exist. No reflection on their music or anything – I just wish they’d bloody well made their minds up and bitten the big one when they said they would. I say this because, before they kissed and made up I had what was, very nearly, officially The Last Ever Interview with Thursday.
The scene: Wembley Arena, at the tail end of a My Chemical Romance tour a couple of years ago. I am mooching around backstage, pissing off MCR with my refusal to give a crap about them while they fail to give a crap about a load of cancerous children (long story) and I’m ushered in to make nice to their support act’s lead singer on behalf of some indie mag that I’m ‘working’ for. Suddenly I find myself face to face with a bona fide pretentious waste of space. I interview him and a week later they’ve Officially Split Up.
Well, the bastards are back together again, apparently with no consideration for my professional credibility. How very dare they.
So what were Geoff Rickly and co. actually like? My notes from that interview write Geoff himself off as a bit of a wanker and Thursday’s live performance was… interesting…
“From the moment the first impenetrable chord sank down onto the crowd from the speakers right to the final beseeching request for us to Party Like It’s 1999 (when most of their audience would’ve been about 7/8) Thursday maintained a good, solid set and an energetic on-stage presence. I think the best bit was when the lead singer swung his microphone around by the lead and hit himself in the head.”
“Ugliest moment of whole gig: ‘We’re from New Jersey – have any of you been to New Jersey?’ ::mindless universal screaming from crowd:: ‘It’s a dirty fucking cesspool, and I think that’s why it makes great bands like My Chemical Romance – ‘ ::huge amounts of screaming:: ‘ – just like London, right?’ Cue gut-wrenching silence.”
As for Rickly himself: “I would expect less attitude from Elton bloody John. If I’d known I was being granted an audience with such an esteemed personage as Mr Rickly, I would have practised my curtseys. You’d almost think his band was any f*cking good, but: no. Mediocre in the extreme.”
I’d love to predict that my assessment was no longer correct and that Rickly is now an interesting and personality-rich human being with whom I would happily spend quality time, but I very much doubt that continuing to sell albums and put bums on seats will have done that to him.
His band, however, has at least got vaguely less common-place. The rest of the outfit is wholly sound, with some great hooks and interesting bass work. I doubt this has anything to do with him, since his singing is still flat, reedy and out of tune. He also seems to like wailing into the microphone from the other end of an empty swimming pool.
Still, I suppose every band needs a frontman. I do begrudgingly recommend this album, but preview a few tracks first if you can – just to make sure you can see past the pointless wailing emo at the front.