Thrice has the most songs on this list, and rightfully so. Since I first heard them back in 2001 I’ve been calling Thrice my favorite band. Whereas others from back in that era have come and gone, Thrice continues to crank out top notch album after album.
A big key to their longevity is their incredible ability to change their sound while retaining fans. I got into them when they were fast, California hardcore. Since then they went from mainstream alternative to post-hardcore to experimental to folk to…I don’t even know what you could call them now. But when other bands lose their fan-bases with such drastic changes, Thrice maintains and adds.
The Whaler comes from my favorite Thrice album, The Alchemy Index. In what would become known as the record that killed their major label chances, I found the most interesting, diverse and appealing collection of songs from any band I’d ever heard. It was broken up into for EPs, each based on an element: fire, water, earth and wind. The songs on the fire EP were hard, fierce and heavy. On earth you had subtle, acoustic and stripped down tunes. Wind songs sounded like they came from an orchestra.
The Whaler came from the water EP. Like the others on it, it was electric, smooth and hypnotic. One listen and you had to hear it again, and again and again. Earlier this summer I was driving some friends home, none of whom had ever heard of Thrice before. In my changer was a disk of my favorite Thrice tunes and days later I got texts asking me about this specific song. It’s just one of those that I think is impossible to dislike.
Just a really beautiful, memorable tune.