Their style early on was characterized by fast tempos, unusual time signatures, heavy distorted guitars, and screaming – falling somewhere between punk and hardcore.
Their musical style evolved significantly over time and they’ve shown themselves to be skilled and eclectic as musicians and songwriters, retaining some of their older style while expanding into other genres as well. Thrice songs cover a spectrum including acoustic, electronic, hardcore, punk, grunge, blues, folk, and more. The band often writes the music in a way that reflects the emotional and thematic content of the lyrics.
From early on to Alchemy to more recently, lead singer Dustin Kensrue has written nearly every lyric. His lyrics are finely crafted and often have multiple layers of meaning. About his message, Kensrue has said:
I want my music to be engaging for humans in general, not just a specific subset of someone that believes something. There’s enough shared experience for us as humans to communicate meaningfully through conversation and art, even with people that you don’t agree with.”
Many Thrice lyrics are highly poetic, though others read more like essays. Both from his lyrics and interviews, it is evident that Kensrue is a voracious reader and thinker. He is a Protestant Christian and frequently uses themes and allusions from the Bible – and sometimes direct quotations. In the same vein, there are numerous references in Kensrue’s lyrics to work by Christian writers including C.S. Lewis (Dustin’s favorite author) and G.K. Chesterton. In addition, Kensrue’s subjects include historical people and events, novels, films, Greek philosophy, and a host of other subjects. Regardless of subject, he often crafts the songs to be deeply personal in some way.