Though they prefer to categorize themselves as "melodic hardcore," this Orange County-birthed quartet solidly melds punk and metal, finding the common ground between early Green Day and early Metallica (and especially that Kirk Hammettesque guitar). The group, founded in 1998 by members even now barely out of their teens, consists of Dustin Kensrue (vocals/guitar), Teppei Teranishi (guitar), Eddie Breckenridge (bass) and Riley Breckenridge (drums). Their debut for Sub City Records, Identity Crisis, is full of hooky headbanging tunes and buoyed by some very rhythmic guitar-playing and solid anchor drumming. Kensrue's lyrics are full of imagery and anger, but also a confused vulnerability that somehow never comes off as pretentious, murky or repetitive. And unlike many touring groups in this bastard genre, Thrice doesn't turn up the volume just to mask sorry-ass playing. Definitely worth checking out.