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Still working on the balance of high drama and hardcore that they eventually perfected on 2001's Full Collapse, New Jersey's Thursday nonetheless made a strong impression on their 1999 debut album, Waiting. Moody songs influenced by British post-punk like "In Transmission" and "Where the Circle Ends" contrast nicely with the barnburning metallic riffing of "Dying in New Brunswick" and "The Dotted Line." When the two poles converge, as on "This Side of Brightness," the band achieves a sweet spot of crunch and melody. They hadn't quite mastered the blend at this point in their careers, but they did get off to a great start.

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