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3RDegree - The Long Division CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.02 | 216 ratings

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4 stars I could not avoid noticing the lofty praise this release has been getting and, well, I just wanted to see for myself what all the hype was about. The main attraction was not the moniker, the artwork or anything so pedant but rather the focus on being political! Lest we forget, that rock music in general started to develop as socio- political messenger once long ago and sadly sort faded into the absurd and the fantasia of our wonderful universe. Third Degree is a US band that wishes to express their views on the current political impasse in the USA, where only black and white exists (no pun intended), two dour and silly political parties vying for control and power, a platform where the line is blurred between leftist republicans and rightist democrats, with little room of creative social and economic discourse! Personally, as a neighbourly Canadian of European heritage, I find the US a puzzling enigma of contradiction, constant conspiracy and absolute insanity when it comes to their society. Oh well!

Third Degree seem to revel in highlighting these incongruities with a sophisticated blend of punchy progressive rock that has a lot of groove, bruising delivery and some impassionate vocalizings , George Dobbs is truly a character, with a voice being a combination John Kay (Steppenwolf), Peter Wolf (Geils) and Stan Ridgway!). Dual guitarists hint at good old fashioned boogie (Allman Bros, Skynyrd etc...) and the rhythm section propels like a well-oiled Nascar racer. The majority of the songs are not of epic length, keeping things tight and flashy. The titles alone provide a resonant idea of their disappointed philosophy "You're Fooling Yourselves", "Exit Strategy", "The Soci-Economic Petri Dish", "Incoherent Ramblings", well you get the message! They basically take aim at the hypocrisy of both parties and fire away with acerbic acidity, some of the finest lyrics ever! Being a big fan of instrumental prog, it's a diversion to finally have some fun with brooding, vibrant music with great vocal delivery and superb lyrical content. As such, all the songs sort of flow into one another, creating a prog manifesto that surely will not disappoint as the musical vibrancy is always there = check out the sultry sax solo on the sublime "A Work of Art", the cool piano and keyboard musings on "Televised" and the slick picking on "The Millions of Last Moments"

I was expecting not to like this, so as to eliminate any placebo effect in reviewing this little jewel. Intelligent, iconoclastic, daring, probing and somewhat essential to progfans with a sense of today's realities. Certainly original and obviously talented, the future looks brighter for the US economy of prog. 4 extended separations

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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