3RDegree — Human Interest Story
(Bandcamp no#, 1996/2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
A four-piece from New York City, 3RDegree specializes in well-crafted, hook-infected, song-oriented rock with strong melodic drive and progressive overtones. In fact they've been around for some time, an earlier full length cassette exists release from about four years ago, and a five-song cassette of material from this CD has been around for a year and a half. Apparently these guys have built up a their following by playing for free in stadium parking lots before major concerts whenever they can get away with it.
Influences abound, but are not telltale obvious without giving it some thought; most notable are Todd Rundgren and Rush, the former for the craftsmanship in the songs and vocal approach, the later for the Lifeson-like guitar driven attack on many of the songs. And like both, their lyrics are thoughtful, and the band has an excellent pop sensibility that generally precludes gratuitous and flashy instrumental gymnastics in favor of a more balanced song-based approach. There are still plenty of time changes within songs and mood shifts throughout, but they're applied judiciously to serve the benefit of the song. The disc closes with a cover of Rundgren's "Fascist Christ", which — despite the strong TR influence over the rest of 3RDegree's material — sounds irritatingly out of place here with it's in your face 'here's-my-political-statement' rap approach. Frankly, the disc would have been that much better had this one been left off. Overall though, for what they do, 3RDegree does an outstanding job.
Related artist(s): 3RDegree
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more