Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Thrill Theory, an alternative outfit from Austin, Texas that specializes in what they call ‘hardcore-pop.’ The group cites influences the likes of Third Eye Blind, the Foo Fighters, R.E.M, and more, and their new four track EP ‘Remedia Amoris’ is a fascinating excursion into their unique sound. Let’s explore the tunes and determine if they’re worth giving a listen when they drop soon!
Thrill Theory does indeed have a curiously different sound than most of their independent alternative rock counterparts. The hooks on the tracks are especially infectious, perhaps alluding to the “pop” elements of the band’s sound. The sound also feels abundantly classic. The opening track on ‘Remedia Amoris,’ a tune called ‘4000 Reasons,’ could absolutely be a classic rock track from the 1970s. That’s not to say the song isn’t contemporary, however, because this kind of rock and roll can defy each era in its own right.
‘4000 Reasons’ also exhibits the band’s strong production, a constant throughout the EP and a very welcome quality amidst a sea of music across my desk that doesn’t exude such strong prowess in the studio. ‘Atlanta’ brings Thrill Theory’s sound into different territory, though, with a much more introspective, soft-rock-esque sound. There are tinges of a Foo Fighters influence scattered throughout, I’d argue, and it’s actually a song that’s a tad folksy, too.
Another intriguing element of Thrill Theory’s music is that they seem to switch off lead vocal roles. The vocalist behind ‘Atlanta’ is different than the one helming ‘Red Light.’ That said, they’re both equally enjoyable - perfectly suitable for their respective sounds. Of the four songs, ‘Red Light’ is likely the most anthemic. It’s the kind of rock tune that’ll be most at home blasted out of a car stereo on a warm summer night with the windows down in a few months.
The finale of the EP, ‘Parkside,’ is doused in reverb and intensity, even layering itself with splendid vocal harmonies at several points. The searing electric guitar solo is absolutely spectacular, too, and the lyricism on ‘Parkside’ is some of the album’s most memorable. “Tell me if your heart’s still bleeding, for I’ll breathe in all your feelings,” the lead vocalist croons.
This is a fantastic EP that’s remarkably well produced and engineered. That wouldn’t take Thrill Theory far, though, if they weren’t a wonderfully enjoyable alternative rock outfit to boot. ‘Remedia Amoris’ will be very well worth a listen upon its release. Connect with the band below to keep updated on the release date and other news!