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3RDegree - The Long Division CD (album) cover

THE LONG DIVISION

3RDegree

 

Crossover Prog

4.05 | 171 ratings

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dregjones
4 stars In a landslide of strong album releases in 2012 (and how come the know-it-all Mayans didn't predict that?), how on earth can an independent band stand out amidst the sonic smorgasbord of new goodies clamoring for the public's ear? One way is by refining what they do down to its purest essence; a completely different and undoubtedly riskier approach is by following their artistic impulses wherever they may lead and abandoning all fear.

On 'The Long Division', 3rDegree have somehow managed to take both paths. And swagger the whole while. All that was great about their last record 'narrow-caster', an album that has never left my car nor the cars of many of my friends, still doesn't begin to prepare me for the omnipotent musicality that blazes out of both speakers from the opening guitar feedback and organ roar and never lets up. This isn't just prog, steeped in their signature stylistic magic bullet of other influences, this is absolute song greatness musical hurrah, with biting lyrics and original hooks, all dripping with complete conviction and a seditious sophistication that will make even the most jaded pump their fists in rapture whether they want to or not.

The characteristic that really shocks and delights me about this record is the way that the musical surprises abound with uncanny precision ' an anthem is unsettled by one unexpected note, a left-turn bridge throws the key of the hook into question, or a beautiful instrumental lullaby will be distracted by an overwhelming melancholic part fading in and out to keep you emotionally off-balance. These twists are brilliantly snuck in to delicately poison and scar you in the timeless and classic fashion of every great songwriter the world has ever known. And over all this embarrassment of melodic and rhythmic riches the incomparable voice of George Dobbs soars and snarls to perfection.

I'll end by saying two things that I hope will make everyone who reads this buy it immediately: One, this is tied for my favorite album of the year 2012, easily sailing past incredible new records by Echolyn, District 97 and everything else that has completely blown me away from last year. Two, and this is the highest compliment I've ever paid any record in a review, if the late great Kevin Gilbert were still alive, I honestly believe this is the kind of record he'd be making. Don't miss it.

dregjones | 4/5 |

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