5 years behind is the debut album of Brooklyn based punk band THICK. The trio of Nikki Sisti (guitar,vocals) Katie Black (bass,vocals) and Shari Page (drums,vocals) come in with raw and fierce energy. Their songs are catchy and infectious – any one of them could be sung like an anthem, while the subject matter talks about disappointments with the injustice of modern society. Spanning a wide range of topics from social media to gender politics. THICK let’s it all out while still managing to keep it fun and engaging, with reports of their live shows having mosh pits with the friendliest people ever.
We open with the title track “5 years behind”, a gritty bedroom pop song with great guitar harmonies that discusses the pressures of keeping up with everyone else.
“Bumming Me Out” is one of my favorites, the catchy chorus interlaced with heavy guitars is a catharsis on things that keep bringing us down — everything. This track is followed by “Fake News”, a 49 second chaotic rant that bombards us into confusion just like its subject matter.
Another standout is “Mansplain.” The track starts with a collage of condescending comments from men. We hear things like “I wish she would smile more”, “I wouldn’t really recommend a fender to a woman but you’re kinda tall”, “She’s a pretty good drummer for a girl”. The band claims these were actually said to them in real life. Which makes me wonder, it’s 2020, why does this still exist? The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic, the sound is straight up old school punk.
“WHUB” is a tribute to the venues and the people that the band met when they first started playing. “Won’t Back Down” is a defiant anthem that declares “I won’t be afraid” despite adversaries. Both tracks are heavy-hearted and explore more personal themes as the instruments take on a more sensitive sound.
“Your Mom” is a raucous tirade that sings about the pressures that parental figures tend to shove into our throats. Every instrument takes its volume up to eleven as the girls sing “Have a baby / Have a career / You’re always late / Don’t be gay”.
Things let loose as the last track “Party With Me” forgets about everything and we just have fun. The song starts with “Just take all your clothes off and party with me”, a carefree and moshpit-friendly ending to the wild ride of 5 years behind.
With 11 tracks in a 27 minute runtime, songs are short and spontaneous, there’s a carefree attitude to the whole thing that feels very relatable. One of the strengths of this album is that it balances the rebellious nature of punk with an honest realism that anyone can connect to.
Overall a refreshing take on punk from a different perspective. This album is not afraid to sink its teeth into political issues. I may not share the same demographic as the members of THICK but I still feel a good connection to their songs.