After two albums on Island, New Jersey band Thursday is back on the indie-label circuit. The group fell victim to the cuts at the major label and seized the opportunity to sign with a company that would allow it to more fully explore its political side. Common Existence, the band's fifth album, retains its hardcore-influenced rock sound, allowing producer Dave Fridmann to roughen the edges more than on previous records. The result is a raw, explosive collection of 11 tracks that don't tiptoe around what the band wants them to be. Frontman Geoff Rickly is admirably unapologetic as he yelps and screams, giving the sense that he and his band made this record their way. "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" is an apt opening track, setting the tone with its surging guitars, urgent drums and guest vocals by Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath. Thursday is clearly not a major-label band, and that's a compliment. — Emily Zemler
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