Thursday : London Highbury Garage: Thursday 4 September

All together now - point towards the sky

“You know what I love about England?” announces Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly. What is it, dude? Our successful working multicultural society? The constaflux trash-pop culture? Our Royal family? TheNME? “What I love about England is that you guys know that Geoff isn’t pronounced Geeeeee-awwwfff”. Oh dear.

In case you missed something, New Jersey’s Thursday are extremo’s prog flag wavers. Drum solos, opulent strings, children’s choirs – rock’s axis of evil – are their allies. A band for whom tragedy is never far away – ‘Understanding In A Car Crash’ is tonight dedicated to Geoff’s best friend who he, yes, lost in a car crash. The band themselves recently avoided death when their van was struck by lightning and frontman Rickly’s lung collapsed shortly after they completed 2001’s ‘Full Collapse’. NOTE: This is not a joke.

But despite the prog leanings and near-death experiences – Thursday aren’t extremo’s answer to Led Zeppelin. They are the kings of ploddy dullard emo. Combined with the fact that this is a one-night-only visit, thus Thursday are renting their equipment makes this one of the worst gigs of (I)NME(I)’s recent memory.

C’maaan – orchestras (‘Asleep In The Chapel’)? Communal singing? Mournful pianos and samples of disabled kids playing hopscotch (‘This Song Brought To You By A Falling Bomb’)? We thought this was (I)extremo(I). Too often the choppy guitars and energy of ‘War All The Time’ which is the genre’s meat and potatoes is lost so that Geoff Rickly can make ’80s hand movements in blue spotlight. All together now – point towards the sky, twirl your hands, stop sign. On second thoughts – just stop.

Imran Ahmed