Mathgrind, Punk, Screamo

Thin – Dusk (Review)

Bands: Thin
Release: Dusk
Genre: Mathgrind, Screamo
Country: USA (New York)
Release Date:10th of February, 2023
Released viaTwelve Gauge Records
Cover ArtworkAshley Levine

Just a year ago, your favorite wildfire has been raging already when Thin released their split with The Wind in The Trees. After having offered their dawn with their full-length debut and the aforementioned split, the New York Mathgrind madmen return with their follow-up that is matchingly called Dusk. Having recommended to stick to your preferred tranquilizers the last time already, I hope you still tend to do so when diving into what is going to come on Thin’s sophomore full-length.

With the opener “Bastard,” we are warmly reintroduced to the sound of Thin just as we loved it on Dawn. Drums kick in until a fat bass opens up the track, eventually slowly leading you towards total frenzy when the rest of the instrumentation transports a spitfire right through your earphones. After the vocals burnt off your hair within seconds, you smile in contentment because this was exactly what you came for in the first place. On this first track already, Thin showcase that they haven’t lost any of their grind since their last full-length. The reverse is true, which you’re going to find out when the sun sets a little more.

On the second track “Den,” we are reminded of the fact that we need to measure Thin’s music in gpm (genre-jumps per minute), since it seems as if genres are mere side-effects of music for those Mathgrinders. This track opens up in an inconspicuous manner (if you can use that word when talking about Thin’s music). Fast, gritty guitars are whirled around your head with ridiculously fast drums and intensely ferocious vocals. Accordingly, Mathgrind means grind with optional addition of whatever is going drive you mad. Whenever you feel that you can anticipate a song arrangement, Thin thumb their nose at you and continue with something entirely different. To a certain extent, listening to Thin feels like experiencing the entire set of 90s children’s TV program. Weirdly odd elements no one fully gets a hold off are smashed right into your face – all at the same time while savagely flashing. This is what we expected on this album, this is what we came for. However, a few moments into this track, the vocals switch from what we’ve heard before to massively deep gutturals that I primarily associate with the gurgliest outbursts of Slam. Right at that spot you take notice of the fact that there is a major development regarding the vocals on this release. While the vocals still remained within the scope that is set in between Death Metal and Hardcore on Dawn and the split release, the gap between the different styles of vocals ranges massively on Dusk. On the one hand, you meet gasping Slam gurgles on several tracks and if the vocals move towards the high pitches, the tone reminds a lot of Depressive Suicidal Black Metal. The variety became an awful lot wider on Dawn, easily playing with rules that mark possible genre boundaries.

Apart from the fact that Ashley Levine manages to facilitate gap jumps between the wildest styles of vocals that are offsprings from your favorite Metal micro genres, the entire instrumentation is occasionally thrown right into the swamp so that you have to wade out of it. Sludgy sequences help to broaden the impact of the ferocious variety of the sounds that are presented on this album. Especially in combination with the guttural vocals as on “Foilage,” this just matches perfectly and you get the glimpse of what could be called Brutal Death Metal… for… like… a few seconds – until you dive right back into the pinball machine. Every now and then, you get what I wrote down as a “pretend to be normal” sequence. On “Diamond St.” for example, there is a brief sequence that sparks the impression that a predictable song arrangement might follow – ha ha, you fool!

This pinball machine is put together by the most savage of genre combinations. Only taking a lookt at the fact that you can overtly extract hints of Punk on “Fond When You Thin About It,” Death Metal on “Foilage,” Sludge on Pinellas, the classy Thin sound on “40th St. South,” Hardcore vibes on “Botulism”, bludgeoning Slam-like tones on “Diamond St.” and an acoustic outro on “Mangrove” shows you that we are right in the middle of not giving a fuck about genre boundaries anymore.

If you put the pieces together regarding the variety of the instrumentation as mentioned above as well as the vocals, you feel as if Thin made it their business to deconstruct the fuzzy boundaries of genre policy. While some bands recently found their spot at the reconstruction of purist sounds – specifically in the current Old School Death Metal renaissance – you also have bands such as Thin, who shove it right into your face that there are no tangible boundaries at all.

While getting lost seeking explanations for what is currently happening in the music you’re listening to, it might be overlooked that the key factor that constructs this overwhelming sound in the first place fully relies on the capable execution of the drums as well as the guitars. As was present on Dawn already, the drums once more morph from style to style, playing the key role when fully turning the tone of a brief sequence with a different pattern. Similarly, the guitars also switch between blunt force, Math and Screamo chords and Death Metal or Hardcore riffing. The profession of the musicians behind these instruments is squeezed into tracks at a length of 1 minute – at a speed that takes all the volume you need.

There is a huge variety of different vinyl pressings that came via Twelve Gauge Records that you definitely need to check out! Next to a tape release, you will surely be overcharged with the question which pressing to choose for your personal collection!

It keeps going that Thin continue to surprise me with their releases. Although a brief listening session might suggest that you get the tone of your regular Mathgrind band, the subtle variety that takes place on those songs seems to become broader and broader. Always having been interested in especially those releases that bend genre boundaries, all of the previous releases by Thin captured my attention. I am absolutely interested what new approaches are going to come on their third full-length!

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