Monday, February 14, 2011

Musical/\Revertion Song Of The Day: Cancer On A Thursday

It isn't Thursday, but I couldn't resist promoting this song today. While I am not a marginally massive fan of the whole "post-hardcore" genre, this band has a select few songs which are in all actuality, quite good. This band is indeed called "Thursday", and the song I am choosing is entitled "You Were The Cancer" from their previously released record, "Common Existence."

Now, listening to the song, it starts with a beat very reminscient of industrial music, and the vibe is quite gloomy. Almost robotic, you could say. This beat loops & builds for 3 quarters of a minute, until lead-singer Geoff Rickly finally pierces the noise with an unusual array of words:

"Its the sigh of a building falling down
Its the world spinning us around
Its the slip of the surgeon's knife
And the darker crimes of common existence."

Almost instantly, I found myself taken aback that a band of this genre would pen something so inquisitive. Proof you should never judge a band by their genre, or their cover. The song title surely gives the meaning away. Still, had I never heard this before in my life & somebody played it without telling me the title, I would be doing some pondering, "Where is this going?" Moving on.

"Its a missile that's sleeping in the ground."--referring to something that is dormant, very much an acknowledgement of the fact that cancer lies within all of us, slumbering until triggered or awakened.

The industrial dress of this song acts as the backdrop for this track, the guitars & drums the crutches. Truly, the highlight here is beckoned by Geoff Rickly's solemn vocals singing the verses & chorus, and drastic screams threading through the center of the lines, "You were the cancer."

Now, one could easily argue that there is a broader meaning to this, cancer aside. It could be directed at an individual in that person's life, as they are likened to a "cancer" and drain everything away from the protagonist in this album. Surely, it could also be considered a loose interpretation of the world that we reside in.

Still, one cannot denounce the true inspiration behind the song, which is shown in the lyrics themselves. One of the more literal pieces of the song:

"In your blood there is a sad, sad song
Circulating through your nervous system
It's killing you but it's bringing me along
You were the cancer in my life
You were the cancer all the time
You were the cancer
That's all you'll ever be"

^Once again, focusing on the toll that cancer takes. As soon as it is unleashed, it pulses through the nervous system, through the blood, through the person...eventually overtaking them. They are being overthrown by this monster, and it is dragging with it everyone who cares for that individual, sucking them into the darkness, so to speak.

"It's the comfort in a bathtub full of ice
It's the promise of a peaceful afterlife
Or the string of a violin wound too tight
It's gasping for oxygen
It's a signal that's sent out over the air
At the speed of a thousand unheard prayers
It's the faith in the chemicals
A shot in the dark the size of a particle"

To me, this verse screams louder than the rest. The trust put in doctors, the faith in God that it will all shatter and reside, but to no avail. Especially the line, "Or the string of a violin wound too tight/It's gasping for oxygen." Pushed with treatments and meds and reassurance that things will get better until finally, the toll is too much and you begin to tire and gasp for air.

Why You Should Hear This
-This song is a statement that many are too petrified to make. While many musicians will address the subject of cancer & how we succumb, no song I have heard goes as in-depth as this does. People fear what they cannot fathom, and that is true in this case, as well. The disease strikes one as something to be scared pale about, and to try to understand it is a very emotionally draining task to attempt. It comes at the worst times, it strikes our strongest & our weakest, all the same. It takes what it desires, leaves no traces, only memories and disbelief. A lot of personification was used to link the disease to a human struggle. Even more, it expands on that subject and could even be utilized to describe an unhealthy person or the world at large, whether through a shattered relationship or our defects as a people.

What Thursday did with this song lyrically is admirable. What is cancer like? Listen to the song to find their take. Cancer is a very big issue, and I have met it many times before, not within me, but more as an unwanted acquaintance. This song hits me in ways I cannot describe, and I hope you all will take the time to truly listen to this song...and take away what you will.

Here is "You Were The Cancer":


This is a place where I post all of my various ramblings about the musical world. More or less, to keep my friends & family sane and to give insight & guidance to all music freaks with a passion as frightening as mine. Album reviews, artist news & insights, and my own conflicting opinions. Click the link at the bottom of the page to become a follower of the Musical/\Revertion.