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Every Thursday Album Ranked

Thursday is one of those bands with a perfect discography, and ranking their six studio albums is not something that we took lightly. On one hand, there’s no denying the impact that their early work had on the post-hardcore and emo scenes. On the other hand, Thursday’s later work leans heavily into post-rock and new-wave influences without ever losing their signature sound, and is most certainly worthy of a look. Thursday matured with their audience, and their music is in many ways indicative of growth, exploration, and never resting on their laurels. You should thank them for maturing, because if they hadn’t you still might be wearing skin-tight Diesel jeans and doing that dumb hair swoop thing.

That is to say, if we could put every single Thursday album in first place, we would. But since that’s not how rankings work, we’re going to rank their six studio albums by the impact they had upon their release.

6. Common Existence (2009)

After a few quiet years (and an amazing split EP with Envy), Thursday continued to push their sound into the territory that was first explored on “A City by the Light Divided.” One major difference that we hear on “Common Existence” comes in the form of how this energy is focused. “A City by the Light Divided” broke into post-rock territory on quite a few tracks, and we have the thousand-mile stare to prove it. Trust us, we were almost put in lock up because we would zone out so much that our family became concerned. Anyway, “Common Existence” stripped off some of the reverb, somehow made the bass guitar even more distorted, and the result is an album full of contemplative bangers that showed us how Thursday was still a cut above their contemporaries.

Play it again: “Beyond the Visible Spectrum”
Skip it: “Friends in the Armed Forces”

5. No Devolución (2011)

If you look up “swan song” in the dictionary, you’ll see the album cover for “No Devolución.” Thursday knew they were going to break up before we did, and it sounds very much like this is the album they wanted to be remembered for. Sitting perfectly between their latter-day sonic explorations and the iconic sound from “Full Collapse” that gave them mainstream popularity, “No Devolución” is a career-spanning sound jammed into a single LP. Thursday ended their studio career with an album that’s as heavy as it is pretty; as challenging as it is thoughtful; as focused as it is exploratory. It’s the complete opposite of how our first band ended. We can’t say too much, but an entire bass cab was filling with dog shit and dropped into a pool.

Play it again: “A Gun in the First Act,” the ending riff is the mother of all fat riffs.
Skip it: “Empty Glass,” somebody hurt Geoff, and we’re not okay with it.

4. Waiting (1999)

“Waiting” embodies the spirit of the basement show that Thursday was known for in their early days. At the end of the day, Thursday has been and always will be a tight group of friends who just wanted to play music together. As inexperienced as they were musically, their potential was evident right off the rip. “Waiting” is Thursday in their purest form, and it’s their naïveté and sincerity that shines through as they’re all learning how to write their songs, and in some cases how to play their instruments.

Play it again: “This Side of Brightness,” an early nod to Thursday’s larger-than-life sound that’s found in their later work.
Skip it: “Introduction,” there’s nothing wrong with it, but if we had to cut one, the album would still be cohesive without it.

3. A City by the Light Divided (2006)

It goes without question that Thursday has always been a moody band. Unlike its predecessors, “A City by the Light Divided” delivers a moodiness that’s simultaneously subdued and grandiose, which is a far cry from their more tense and frenetic delivery that we were used to at this point in Thursday’s career. Considered by many to be Thursday’s departure album, we are given a production that lends itself to textural guitars, an absolutely unrelenting rhythm section, acrobatic vocals, and synths that sound like a Robert Smith wet dream. Now if you know anything about Robert Smith you know those wet dreams could flood an apartment. The guy never got a security deposit back if you catch our drift. Back to Thursday, if you haven’t yet listened to this one with a good set of headphones, we strongly recommend that you do so.

Play it again: “Autumn Leaves Revisited”
Skip it: “The Lovesong Writer”

2. War All the Time (2003)

We’re working our way back to black hair dye, skinny jeans, and Geoff Rickly breaking his own nose with the mic swings. “War All the Time” was Thursday’s first major label release, and they clearly took full advantage of the resources they had at their disposal. “War All the Time” is personal, political, ambitious, and anthemic. If you listened to this album in your teens, it’s safe to say you wanted people to see you as a deep thinker. Just look at your collection of Vonnegut books. Fortunately for you, “War All the Time” holds up better than those tight t-shirts in the back of your closet that you still convince yourself you’ll be able to fit back into some day.

Play it again: “Tomorrow I’ll be You”
Skip it: “Marches and Maneuvers”

1. Full Collapse (2001)

I was told by the Hard Times editors that if I didn’t end this list with “Full Collapse,” they’d have to put me in a witness relocation program after all the death threats posted exclusively on Livejournal that I’d receive. Listen, I have the dove tattoo… and I may have even said off-record that “A City by the Light Divided” is my personal favorite album. But speaking objectively, “Full Collapse” is Thursday’s most important album, and we can’t deny its impact. “Full Collapse” is responsible for most of us hearing about Thursday, and it’s safe to say that a lot of us downloaded it off of Limewire before it was released because we were that fucking excited about it. “Full Collapse” pulled at our heartstrings upon its release, and the nostalgia is stronger than ever with this one in 2023.

Play it again: “Paris in Flames,” the spoken word section was written on all of our binders in high school.
Skip it: Just play the whole damn album on repeat.