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3RDegree - The Long Division CD (album) cover

THE LONG DIVISION

3RDegree

 

Crossover Prog

4.10 | 152 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
4 stars I have to admit that I was quite suspicious of a band's rating when its new album release starts climbing the charts due to the fact that no less than 9 out of the 13 entries in the 'Latest members reviews' column are PA newbies who joined only to post a review of this one album (and two of the other four have rated less than ten albums and reviewed only one: this one'and of the less than ten albums the list is suspiciously the same!) It's nice to have fans, nice to have a group helping to get your name and music out there. Whatever it takes, I guess. Time will obviously help this album settle into its true place among the releases of 2012.

Curious, I found their album on Bandcamp. And I've been listening.

1. 'You're Fooling Yourselves' (6:51) sounds like a kind of DISCIPLINE-as-THE BEATLES classic rocker. There is a cute carnival-esque section beginning at the 2:56 mark followed by a SAGA-like semi-rap with vocal harmonies. Great section in the guitar solo beginning at the 4:40 mark. The vocalist does a pretty great job sounding like JOHN LENNON, revved-up PAUL McCARTNEY and early ROD STEWART. (8/10)

2. 'Exit Strategy' (5:45) is a very perky, poppy STEELY DAN-meets-XTC to play THE TEA CLUB song. Truly some great multiple vocal arrangements here. Nice keyboard/mellotron and bass parts. A very catchy, cute song. (9/10)

3. 'The Socio-Economic Petrie Dish' (6:52) is the weakest song on the album in its cheezy keyboards and poppy-pseudo-prog structure. Again I am reminded of STEELY DAN 1972- 75, pre-Aja. A very mediocre song'even with the melodramatic 'Occupy' crowd sample in the final minute. (5/10)

4. 'Incoherent Ramblings' (7:44) begins with a vocal melody that fails to connect. Once the song establishes its support structure it doesn't get much better. It's almost like an average BEACH BOYS or a bad XTC song. (5/10)

5. 'The Ones to Follow' (3:12) is a cute pop song in the vein of XTC and GEORGE HARRISON. (6/10)

6. 'A Work of Art' (2:50) begins with some arpeggiated electric piano chords before weaving in some other subtle instruments, vocals, and eventually saxophone. The keyboard sound brings me back to some of RONNIE LAWS' proggier stuff in the late 70s (around the 'Always There' and Flame period). (7/10)

7. 'Televised' (6:52) with its old synth sounds harkens back to some late 70s classic rock songs. When the song kicks into high gear around the 1:50 mark it is definitely treading on MATTHEW PARMENTER/DISCIPLINE territory. Then a clavichord enters! Surprises abound in this one: falsetto vibratos, Motown-like female b vox. As the song progresses it morphs again into more XTC ground. An unusual but kind of intriguing mix. Perhaps the most original song on the album. (8/10)

8. 'The Millions of Last Moments' (2:06) starts out very much like KANSAS' 'Dust in the Wind' before a jazzy CHET ATKINS-like electric guitar joins in. A pretty instrumental guitar duet. (7/10)

9. 'Memetic Pandemic' (7:29) begins with a bare piano, joined by a GEDDY LEE-like voice before morphing into a GENESIS/BIG BIG TRAIN/ECHOLYN-like song. Interesting ECHOLYN/BEATLES-like vocal harmonies. Love the GENESIS picked electric guitar interlude at the 1:45 mark and the MIKE OLDFIELD-like fuzz guitar playing in tandem with the early-TONY BANKSian synthesizer that follows. Despite the 'There Must be Some Misunderstanding' bass line and chord progression.in the next section, this song develops and catches one very much like a very good ECHOLYN song. The drumming on this one stands out for me: PHIL COLLINS-ish. The section that begins at 5:15 is great for its organ, b-vox, and GENESIS-era P GABRIEL vocal. The last minute and a half enters into more of a BEATLES feel. (9/10)

10. 'A Nihilist's Love Song' (3:21) starts out with a lyric and melody that reminds me of a choral version of TOD RUNDGREN's 'Just One Victory.' As it goes on I am more reminded of JON BON JOVI. (8/10)

I am pleasantly surprised to find that this is, in fact, an interesting album--especially for its varied collection of sounds and influences. It is, however, a little more pop oriented than I expected. My favorite songs are definitely the perky 'Exit Strategy' and the ECHOCLYN-like 'Memetic Pandemic.' As a matter of fact, if one were to try to extract the essence of this album, it would be the XTC, STEELY DAN, and ECHOLYN familiarities. I actually like this album better than the much-praised 2012 Echolyn release, Echolyn. (Ironic that the BRETT KULL-produced "You're Fooling Yourself" is not even, IMO, the most ECHOLYN-sounding song on the album!)

3.5 stars rated up for factors of intrigue and quirkiness.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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