Sound — 8
Thursday's latest release Kill The House Lights might seem a little familiar to some in terms of the tracks on the CD portion, but there is enough bonus material found on the bonus DVD disk that it should still be embraced by fans. It's being released primarily as an album featuring 9 assorted demos, live tracks, and B-sides, but there are 3 brand new tracks included as well. While all of the songs on the CD are technically unreleased and a fairly interesting addition to the band's library, it's the bonus DVD documentary that is what is the true highlight. You may have already heard some fans voice their concern that the audio CD on Kill The House Lights doesn't showcase enough new material. Among the demo titles are Paris In Flames and Wind-Up, which don't necessarily stray that much from the originals on the release Full Collapse. Wind-Up does feel a little bit more stripped down, but it's not a huge departure. A new Rick Costey mix of Telegraph Avenue Kiss from A City By The Light Divided earns a spot on the CD, and once again, it is not that different from the original. While the subtle changes are likely to be embraced by the band's biggest devotees, there are still others that might find themselves going straight to the DVD for the freshest material. The newest songs on the CD portion do prove the band is really perfecting their songwriting, featuring some of the strongest riffs that Thursday has put out yet. Among the new songs, Ladies And Gentlemen: My Brother, The Failure is the standout, thanks to driving riff that leads off the track. The singing also takes precedence over the screaming for the song up until the end, and that allows for a bigger finale. Thursday is not a band that will click with everyone, and some might even argue that Rickly's voice isn't the strongest at times, but in terms of the new material added into the mix, Kill The House Lights should leave fans satisfied. The DVD portion could have been released completely independently of the audio CD, and it still would have still been a viable product. You get an in-depth look at Thursday's history, from the day they all met each other to band withstanding criticism from an unsatisfied record company. A lot of the information may be common knowledge to some fans by now, but it's still pretty interesting hearing some anecdotes retold. In one instance, several band members recall how there was a general consensus that vocalist Geoff Rickly was completely tone deaf in the early days. In another scene, you're shown one of the band's first performances in Rickly's cramped basement. For being such a young band (give or take about 10 years), Thursday did a great job of providing an ample of amount of old footage to support the storytelling aspect of the DVD.
Lyrics — 8
Thursday doesn't deliver the usual generic lyrical content, and that fact has probably been a big reason why it has clicked with so many fans. On Dead Songs Rickly sings, Dead breath from TV sets fill the empty houses with a dead white light; It's no surprise; Dead checks, dead sex; Dead cigarettes flood the ambulance in the dead of night. There is an incredible visual aspect to a lot of Thursday's songs, and when you combine that with Rickly's charismatic stage presence, that equals a very enthralling show. While some songs like Paris In Flames do tend to get a bit contrived (Forget my face; Forget my name; Because it's going to rain), in general Thursday usually produces quality lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
When you look at the release as a whole, Kill The House Lights makes for a pretty well-rounded release. Had the audio CD been the only thing released, there may have been some disappointed customers. Considering that it's being released for the price of a CD, Kill The House Light's CD/DVD combo is an amazing bargain. You get a full-length documentary along with a 45-minute long concert, and for a lot of fans, that makes it all worth it right there.