Brooklyn trio’s reputable debut album
Just like how The Clash raged against police brutality, THICK rages against patriarchal society in their debut album 5 Years Behind. In true punk fashion, THICK puts one finger up to “the man” and unleashes quite a powerful message in this short but aggressive album.
Formed in 2014, THICK is composed of a multi-talented crew with Nikki Sisti on guitar and vocals, Kate Black on bass, guitar and vocals and Shari Page on drums and vocals. After years of making their way in their hometown of Brooklyn’s variety of rock venues, and touring extensively in the Northeast, THICK signed to punk label Epitaph in 2019. It’s clear that this band has performance energy. Watching any of THICK’s live shows proves that this trio knows how to capture an audience, from their excellent and clean guitar solos to their layered vocal techniques, every part of each song is not only carefully planned but also bears an important message—adulthood is burdensome, society is corrupt and men are often problematic (especially those in the government).
5 Years Behind opens with the album’s namesake, “5 Years Behind.” Upbeat guitar fades into energetic shouting vocals in this opener, introducing the listener to the plucky nature of this album early on. With lyrics like, “I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed/ if I didn’t let time take control (of me),” and, “keep on pushing, keep on pushing/ just to keep myself up/ my heart is heavy like my body,” the listener gets a sense of the truly agro-punk feel combined with with a genuine emotional honesty that 5 Years Behind conveys.
The body of this album is dominated by the songs “Fake News,” “Mansplain” and “Your Mom,” all of which appeal as sing-along ragers. Of these three to-be hits, the most attention to detail appears in “Mansplain” which opens with audio clips of real comments the members of THICK has received like, “I wish they would smile more,” “I wouldn’t really recommend a Fender to a woman, but you’re kinda tall…” and, “Do you think they would be this successful if the were men?” Naturally, these audio clips are destroyed with a roar of combative guitar and well-weaved but equally contentious lyrics. What follows are skilled guitar solos, well-paced bass riffs and passionate vocals that successfully drive home THICK’s point- “Yeah… We’re good.”
The album wraps up with the song “Party With Me,” a summation of what this album is all about—turning the bad parts of life into access points of exuberance. The vocals are sweet and harmonious but aren’t lacking in grit. The guitar and bass are loud and in-your-face but not noisy. The drums are steady but exciting. The energy of punk rock bands like The Orwells or The Vines are mixed with pop-rock vocals from the likes of Holy Child or Diet Cig, successfully harnessing a pop-punk sound that 5 Years Behind grips onto.
THICK’s debut album sets them apart from the average Brooklyn punk band. 5 Years Behind establishes THICK as a reputable and professional pop-punk band with important messages to share, but most of all, THICK grants punk listeners—men, women and all those in between—to engage in their frustrations with relevant current events, political climate and everyday woes. This combination of relatable fury and experienced musical talent has the potential to catch fire in the music world, drawing listeners from many genres to share in THICK’s pop-punk exasperation.