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3RDegree biography
Formed in 1990 in New Jersey, USA

"Try keeping a secret in the age of the diode" (from Circuit Court)
ONES & ZEROS: the building blocks of data in our modern world. Our Internet is made of it-our governments in thirst to find out what everyone's doing with it...
"from the quaintest living room to a huge industrial boom we thank it's name
...Let's just hope he's nice" (from The Best & Brightest)
ONES & ZEROS put to the test. Ultra-Artificial Intelligence out of control? Where's the rulebook for countries to play by? Who's going to have the first one? What will they do with it?
"I never thought my chances of contentment would be determined by a transistor" (from This Is The Future)
ONES & ZEROS inside us all. Making us..."better". Who wants to improve? Should we all? Will we be made to?
"How much would you take from your very own children...for more life would you spare any cost?" (from Life At Any Cost) ONES & ZEROS extending life until the decision to join a digital mausoleum...a final "home in the clouds"...

These are various aspects of our future possibly on their way to becoming commonplace. These are the things on the mind of 3RDegree and make up its fifth and first full concept studio album, ONES & ZEROS: vol. 1 - their first for label 10T Records. All songs offer a unique take on the issues and ethics associated with the rapid progress of technology. Ray Kurzweil & others have been discussing futurism and transhumanism since the 1970s but only now are we seeing it impact our daily lives. Spearheaded by 1990's-era members, California guitarist Patrick Kliesch & New Jersey lead vocalist/keyboardist George Dobbs, the rest of the band shortly pitched in different songs - all closely associated with the overall theme. As with previous albums, both fully-fledged and skeletal ideas were created and passed between band members via the Internet and worked on in the flesh soon after.

ONES & ZEROS: vol. 1 continues to embody the musical direction envisioned by band founders Robert James Pashman & Patrick Kliesch in 1990: to create interesting and engaging music that mixes accessible melodies and catchy hooks with the intelligence and complexity of Progressive Rock. Releasing a debut cassette in THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE in 1993 (w/ Pashman on lead vocals), 3RDegree decided to step up their game in 1995, adding a world class lead vocalist in George Dobbs and releasing their first CD (second "album"), 1996's HUMAN INTERE...
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3RDEGREE Videos (YouTube and more)

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Buy 3RDEGREE Music

Ones & Zeros 0Ones & Zeros 0
CD Baby 2018
$16.60 (used)
Ones & Zeroes: Vol. 1Ones & Zeroes: Vol. 1
10T Records 2015
$22.44 (used)
The Long DivisionThe Long Division
CD Baby 2012
$11.90 (used)
Human Interest Story (Remastered)Human Interest Story (Remastered)
CD Baby 2017
The Long Division by 3rdegree (2013-05-04)The Long Division by 3rdegree (2013-05-04)
CD Baby
Narrow-Caster by 3rdegree (2008-11-11)Narrow-Caster by 3rdegree (2008-11-11)
CD Baby
Hunters Unite (feat. Fluid) - SingleHunters Unite (feat. Fluid) - Single
Starfury Films 2011
CD Baby 2008
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

More places to buy 3RDEGREE music online Buy 3RDEGREE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

3RDEGREE discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

3RDEGREE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 17 ratings
The World In Which We Live
3.51 | 32 ratings
Human Interest Story
3.69 | 70 ratings
4.02 | 220 ratings
The Long Division
4.11 | 340 ratings
Ones & Zeros - Volume 1
4.20 | 141 ratings
Ones & Zeros - Volume 0

3RDEGREE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3RDEGREE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.36 | 5 ratings
The Reunion Concerts
4.31 | 7 ratings
Live At ProgDay 2009
5.00 | 3 ratings
Hello World! Live in Europe & America

3RDEGREE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3RDEGREE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
The World In Which We Lived (2011)

3RDEGREE Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by Buddahfurious15

5 stars I'm a bit late to the party here but finally got the other half of 3RDegree's Ones & Zeros 2 part conceptual work. Vol. 0 is different than Vol. 1 overall but you can probably jumble up the tunes in another way (like Big Big Train's Full Power) and be none the wiser. Just checked out my Vol. 1 review and I'd say all that I marveled over with that release holds true here and then some. Continued is the thing the band does that few other bands do where the DNA of the music is thoroughly 'prog' but the songcraft rules the day. The other thing is how economically sound the band is where this album almost reaches a full hour and you're not tired nor are you fed any filler. Even if you might not think one track is as great as another you notice it serves a purpose and makes the album better. Not sure if I attribute that to the array of writers or the different lyrical subjects presented. While the songs sort of dip into each other it's not full of the sound effects present on Vol. 1 so it might come off as a bit less 'thought out' but with the band themselves calling it a prequel it kind of lets them off the hook in a way. I wonder how they had this all worked out when they completed the last album. How did they make the songs on this new album to all predate those they finished first? No matter, but it seems a master stroke even if they lucked out! Sonically this album seems a bit retro primarily in its use of warm analog synths throughout. Beyond that it just feels like more good music about head scratching issues on the horizon. While this broad concept of futurism has been good for the band and has definitely got them good press, somehow I look forward even more to see where they go next and that's a good thing.
 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Never a band to do the obvious, 3rdegree followed up "Ones & Zeroes - Volume 1" a futuristic tale of the digitization of a human mind that ends badly with "Ones & Zeroes - Volume 0", a futuristic tale of a man who purchases a human companion that ends badly.

Despite my tongue in cheek description of these album, I happen to love them both. 3rdegree have continued to produced albums of clever art rock, or crossover prog as we call it here at PA, fronted by exceptional vocals using lush harmonies and some deep intelligent lyrics.

The album as a whole brings me back to the days of 10cc and Supertramp, two other bands that excelled at playing catchy, compelling and thought provoking music for the discerning listener.

I find that this album draws me in even more than the previous album, and has become a staple in my car stereo this hot summer.

I'm especially hooked on the three middle tracks, "The Future Doesn't Need You", "Unintended Consequence" and "Perfect Babies". And of course the 15 minute epic "Click Away!" is a joy.

I'm not sure yet is this album has replaced "Human Interest Story" as my favorite 3rdegree album, but it's close.

 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by RaelWV

4 stars At the end of my review of 3rDegree's Ones and Zeroes: Volume 1, I wrote: "It's a mess of awfully good music wrapped around an interesting idea. And the best thing? It's only the first part!"

Now that I've gotten familiar with the band's follow up, I'm not so sure about that anymore.

The "first part" bit, I mean. The enthusiasm was completely warranted. But where does Volume 0 fit in to the chronology? It came second, after all, but it's hardly a sequel. So it is a prequel? Not really. Is it better to listen to them in order of release or numerical order? I'm going to go out on a limb and say it doesn't really matter, for a very unexpected reason ? Volume 0 doesn't really have anything to do with Volume 1. Conceptually, at least.

Hear me out.

Volume 1 tells, essentially, a single story about the impact of a fictional (gods, I hope) megacorp, Valhalla Biotech, that peddles various "life extension" technology. There was a through line running from stem to stern of the album, summed up by refrain "tell me what it means to be human." This was helped along by the sometimes chilling asides from various Valhalla products and spokespersons.

Volume 0, by contrasts, covers a lot of different ground. "Olympia" deals with artificial beings who aren't content to be submissive. "Perfect Babies" channels Brave New World and Gattaca and their (timely and relevant) fears of designer offspring. The epic "Click Away!" dives into the echo chamber of the Internet. Unlike Volume 1, there's no connective tissue pulling these all together (the Valhalla announcements are absent, for example).

To put it another way, Volume 1 is a Black Mirror episode; Volume 0 is an entire season.

This isn't a bad thing. Indeed, it's probably a good idea not to just do a copy of Volume 1, since it's hard to bottle lightning twice. Still, aside from the opening overture and a few riffs in the closing "Ones and Zeroes" there isn't really a link between to the two albums. They're separate things that stand on their own merits.

And Volume 0 has plenty of merits. Lyrically, the best tracks ("Olympia" and "Logical Conclusion," in particular) create perfect little worlds, short stories of immediate impact and thougtfulness. The rest throw out interesting ideas and slip in some zingers for good measure (has a meaner chorus ever been sung other than "the future doesn't need you at all?").

Musically, 3rDegree continue to refine a sound that doesn't really resemble anybody else. Bassist Robert James Pashman once told me that 3rDegree was (I'm seriously paraphrasing) "too straight forward for the prog crowd, but too weird for the mainstream." That's still true, although they've been embraced by the prog world in the past few years (and produced an epic in return!). But they're at their best when the hooks and melodies come to the fore, to be supported by some interesting backing stuff and arrangements. That's all backed up by playing that's intricate and muscular, but rarely flashy. It takes a few listens to really get at what's going on, which is always a good sign. I particularly dig that there's lots of bass synth on this album.

One of the reasons I had to keep giving Volume 0 listens is because I had a hard time thinking about what to say about it. Here's the thing ? with each album since they got back together, 3rDegree have been stepping up their game in big ways. Volume 0, though, doesn't feel like a big step forward. It feels like a consolidation, a restatement of what they're about. That's not in any way a bad thing.

What I'm saying is that Volume 0 is a great album. It's musically and lyrically rich, filled with catchy tunes and great playing. But that's what we've come to expect from 3rDegree at this point, right? They're a band in top form and cranking out another excellent offering just isn't a surprise at this point. So why don't you have your copy yet?

 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Robert pointed out to me that I would be one of the few reviewers coming to the second album immediately after hearing the first, so what would I think of the two albums working together? The albums are designed to be viewed as a pair, from the artwork and layout through the music and ideas. While I smiled when I noticed that this was called 'Volume 0', part of me would rather it had been called 'Volume 10', which of course is 2 expressed in binary code, but that really is nit-picking (yes, I'm a geek ' been working in I.T. for more than 20 years, but it's not my fault).

Lyrically it is the perfect follow-on from the debut, so much so that it feels that it could become part of a permanent loop, so much so that the question becomes 'which came first, 1 or 0?'. Musically it does feel very much of a second half of a piece of work, possibly slightly more acoustic? The musical themes and styling of the debut are carried into this, with the same influences very much in play, so much so that one actually finds it quite hard to realise that there was break between the recording of the two albums as opposed to being recorded at the same time. And if anyone doubts the City Boy analogy just listen to George at 5:20 on 'The Future Doesn't Need You' and see what I mean.

It is also definitely worth mentioning that all the lyrics are in the pack, apart from one, and the only way to get that is to go the Valhalla Biotech site. Once there the lyrics can be seen, but also there are various links, for example '5 Things That You Need To Know' (which takes you to a blog about becoming more involved in the local music scene) or 'Become A Shareholder' (which of course takes you to their store). As I write this, I see that the album is #2 on the PA charts (interestingly I gave maximum scores to #1, #3 and #5 ' haven't heard #4). It is a totally different album to the latest by Roz Vitalis, the current incumbent of the top slot: that is very much a progressive album, from the RIO scene, while this is progressive pop that is fully Crossover. In terms of sheer pleasure and repeated playing this wins hands down, as it just makes me smile each and everytime I play it. And isn't that something that music should be about? The two 'Ones & Zeros' albums perfect complement each other, and all that can be done is buy both and listen to them back to back.

 Ones & Zeros - Volume 1 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.11 | 340 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 1
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars When I first came across 3rDegree some years ago, I said that they reminded me a great deal of the long-lost City Boy, and it was interesting to hear how much of an impact they had had on the band. However, Robert James Pashman (bass, keyboards, backing vocals ? and who is also responsible for getting me drinking Trappist-style beers) later informed me that none of them had heard of the band, and it was only after reading reviews mentioning them as an influence that they sought them out! Having given maximum marks to their previous three albums (I've only noticed that although I have their 1993 debut I've never reviewed it, must amend that at some point), I was looking forward to hearing this 2015 release. But, it arrived while I was working on my book, so ended up in the never-ending backlog. However, with the arrival in 2018 of the second part of the concept, it allows me to review them back to back (and thankfully the guys have been very understanding).

What we have here is a science fiction concept album, set in the fairly near future, where it is possible to live forever, or be enhanced in some ways. It is the mix between the human and the machine, the analogue and the digital, that makes the story what it is. Although all the lyrics are contained in the digipak, it is easy to understand the storyline without them due to the wonderfully clear vocals of singer George Dobbs, and the fact that they allow the story to tell itself. No need for complex analogies, let's get to it: my only complaint is that I found it quite distracting while driving, as I would rather listen to what was going on instead of paying attention to the road. We may not have many drivers down here, but our roads aren't exactly straight and wide.

Musically we are firmly back in the realms of City Boy, with an additional UK band that may surprise many, 10 CC. It took me ages to work out what the harmonies and key changes reminded me of, and then I realised it was like listening to parts of 'Deceptive Bends'. Added to this surreal pop/rock/prog mix they have added plenty of Utopia for good measure, and come up with something that is instantly 3rDegree, instantly accessible, and guaranteed to make the listener sit there with a massive smile on their face. The one song I found most interesting was "We Regret To Inform You", which includes the robotic voice of Valhalla Biotech explaining that there has been a slight issue with the recent procedure on the protagonist's father. I can't say any more than that without giving away the plot, but coming from an IT background this song really did appeal to my inner geek, and it works incredibly well. Add to that some beautifully phased and treated rock guitar and it is a total delight.

3rDegree probably isn't a name that too many people recognise from the progressive scene, but as I write this, this album is rated as being #6 on the charts for 2015 releases on ProgArchives. Looking at what is above it, all I can say is that it is in the wrong position, as it should be #1. Absolutely essential, crossover progressive rock doesn't get any better than this.

 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by Schoeylove1

5 stars 3 years ago, ONES & ZEROS: VOLUME ONE totally blew me away with it's dry humor aimed at a bunch of futuristic subjects and I coudn't wait to hear more. I wasn't looking at any of the news on this 2nd volume and went into it cold and was at first a bit taken aback as right at the top I got an instrumental with some melodies that I knew so I guess it sort of acclimatized me back into 3rdegree's world but I have to admit I was surprised and maybe even a little bit sad to not hear any voices talking to me robotically like they did on VOLUME 1 and while the songs connect a little bit, there is no overarching non-feeling company at the helm driving the story. Instead, it's sort of a bunch of songs that relate to VOLUME 1 and eventually I figured out that this album is sort of a set up piece or prequel for its predecessor which makes sense since it's VOLUME 0 and not 2. Once I got over this I saw an even more accomplished band featured here on an album that steps up the writing and hits it out of the park lyrically on a few songs.

I think my favorite song is the multipart "Click Away" which really gives you a crash course of what 3rdegree are all about-currently and even historically-in a quarter of an hour. You get the moody, epic side of the band to start which then builds and then hits you with the harmonies they're known for along with some vocoder for good robotic tie in with what's to come in the time line. In the middle you get a good tune, hooky and upbeat. It all ends with the heavier side of the band. The commentary this song makes of our social media culture is just spot on.

The whole album is as dynamic as the epic song just described and you're never bored. I'd say VOLUME 1 probably holds better as a classic concept album but VOLUME 0 excels in a few places like the recording and the new drummer's performance so, it's an even swap and both are modern examples of how to take classic Prog to inform music released in 2018 without it sounding derived or in massive debt to the big and best known albums of this sort.

 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars So the band continues with the suite of their concept album "Ones & Zeros vol.1" with their take on the issues associated with the evolution of technology. The story could apply to their own music! The music of 3rdegree has a foot in the retro prog and another one in the new prog. You can hear some past influences like Genesis, but they have their unique style. The band has done another great job with the vocals of George Dobbs who still have a unique voice which is quite enjoyable enhancing every song. The songs are well crafted with a Pop sensibility mix with some beautiful synthesizers arrangements, humouristic lyrics bringing a captivating atmosphere. The guitar is never taking the spot but is well balanced with the rest of the instruments. I really enjoy the sound old and futurist of the keyboards. The band is also using some well-dosed classical arrangements, but it never gives more emotion than the multi-part vocals arrangements. If I had some reservations about the music of the band in the past, I think that this time, all this has vanished with this album. I needed my headphones to discover this album...
 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars The new album 'Ones & Zeros - volume 0' is the prequel to 2015's volume 1 and another ambitious concept album from 3RD DEGREE that draws on themes of trans-humanism and the unintended consequences of being technologically connected with binary codes taking over our existence.

Re1nstall_0verture opens the album in a maelstrom of spacey keyboards from Dobbs, from paradiddles and jagged guitar riffs. It is glorious to enter an album with such a glowing atmosphere. The lead guitar work of Kliesch, Ziegler and Pseja shines brightly alongside the complex bass lines of Pashman. The ominous symphonic strings coalesce with squealing guitars embellished by the relentless drum patterns of Durham. Overall this is a brilliant instrumental.

Connecting opens with haunting piano motifs and an odd meter with estranged vocals. The effect is astonishing and makes this a very engaging composition.

Olympia is replete with lead guitars and keyboards with gorgeous harmonies and the theremin thrown in for good measure.

The Future Doesn't Need You has a soft opening and builds with quirky time changes and meters that would keep any respectable metronome swinging wildly. There are cool guitars and reflective lyrics to ponder over.

Unintended Consequences has a bouncy rhythmic layer and a striking harmonised vocal treatment on the high and low register that works well with the Dickason and Dobbs Duet. It is a very quirky song in passages but it engages the ear for some compelling listening.

Perfect Babies is really a low point of the album in terms of structure but I liked the Nietzsche quote by the child at the very end.

Logical Conclusion brings the album back to a high standard with the pristine vocals of Dobbs. It is a wondrous keyboard journey with meandering guitars that are simply outstanding.

Click Away! is the mini epic of over 15 minutes in length. It is a genuine multi movement suite that begins with airy piano and pondering lyrics. Here the atmosphere feels like something from the Beatles back catalogue from the White Album to Abbey Road era. Again the words echo the sentiments of the album that rejection is just one click away and there is a genuine anti social media theme permeating through out. The epic features glistening keyboards and marching drums with psychedelic harmonies. There are glorious guitar slides with impeccable fingerwork up-and-down the frets like a nervous spider. The lyrics have an emotional impact along with the beautiful acoustic picking and Beatlesque strings. It moves into early Gabriel Genesis structure, building slowly and inevitably to strong pounding orchestral rhythm. The offkilter percussion is jarring and urgent as it speaks of clicking on social media, and Facebook sites becoming a click farm for the consumer in this technological jungle we inhabit. The grinding organ and fuzzed guitar locks in and a more aggressive vocal as things heat up speaking of viral posts, spreading like wildfire projecting the ideal human. It is a wonderful track and the definitive highlight of the album.

Ones & Zeros concludes the album with jaunty rhythms, pounding syncopated drums and raspy vocals asking the question are you a one or are you a zero, stuck in a binary code much like the nude on the cover being enveloped by digitised creatures. The track has some very progressive sections with unusual time sigs and extended instrumentals. The theme of trans humanism is prominent; what are we becoming, is the technology engulfing humanity to the point of assimilation and what are we doing about it?

This new release is a dynamic album from 3RD DEGREE and a worthy successor to the previous releases. It comes highly recommended to lovers of concept prog with a quirky innovative central core.

 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by duclos

5 stars Once there was a Ones & Zeros: vol. 1 one would assume it was part of a duopoly or maybe trilogy. So the wait was longer than one would imagine but Vol. 0 (see what they did there?) finally rears its head here in the spring of '18 and one wonders if it was worth the wait. I can report that it was.

Firstly, does the album feel like part of Vol. 1, as if it could be listened to before or after seamlessly? Not necessarily. It's been said that Vol. 0 is a prequel and you notice the difference pretty quickly. Gone are the announcements from Valhalla Biotech-the otherworldly mega corporation that talks and tries to sell you life extension and an afterlife in the cloud with jingles and SFX. This album is seamless with songs dovetailing into each other but sans SFX and talking but for one philosophy reading by a child tying in with the theme of that song only. The lyrical themes and issues dealt with on this new album are less far-fetched and more happening now or on the cusp.

We are treated immediately to an overture that recalls melodies from almost every song on Vol. 1 and teases a few themes from Vol. 0 like a quick moment of slide guitar from "Unintended Consequence", a keyboard solo during the music from the chorus of "Connecting" and a tease of the opening guitar melody from "Olympia" toward the end. There are probably more easter eggs in there to find to be honest. It's name "Re1nstall_0verture" reads like computer programming language and of course has a 1 and 0 in it so it's well named and does its job of bringing you back into the world of the albums.

The song segues right into "Connecting" which seems to be about an obnoxious internet troll and has a bit of cussing for good measure in its post chorus. This song doesn't really move the entire story along but seems to be more about introducing a character. Still the chords in the chorus really show an anger that you don't get a lot in this band's music so it's a bit eye opening in that regard as it's quite different.

Another character comes to the fore in "Olympia"-a "life assistant"-i.e. robot-that the singer seems to become smitten with only to find out her A.I. gets the best of him. By the end of the song he puts her out of service and regrets it. Despite its similarity to the story of the Spike Jonze movie Her, I'm still on board with its message.

Next comes "The Future Doesn't Need You" which seems to feel a bit like the earlier 3RDegree with it's outro's heaviness and stop/start band tight as ever, but with more wisdom and lyrics that hint at there being a group of people somewhere who are trying to live off the grid in some way.

A wee bit of orchestration makes its way onto various songs and none more obvious than the short & sweet "Unintended Consequence" with it's chorus that's really a verse kind of thing and a co-lead octave apart vocal between lead singer George Dobbs and MoeTar's singer Moorea Dickason. Her presence makes you wonder if another character is being represented by her being on the track but the lyrics seem to work as an overarching theme for the album-possibly even both albums. "Be careful when you're screwing with all these sort of things like cloning, life extension, A.I. and all the kind of stuff that can bite us all in the ass if we're not careful." The song feels very Jellyfishy or like Jason Faulkner or any of the things they were influenced by like Pilot, ELO or Badfinger and of course The Beatles before them.

Another pop song albeit with very dark overtones given the subject matter-is "Perfect Babies" which like "Olympia" before it-really feels like late 70's, early 80's art rock pop like Wax UK or later synth-laden bands like Tears For Fears. The outro sounds like smooth 70's AOR.

Now a full on change of pace for the rest of the album begins with "Logical Conclusion". The band is firing on all cylinders here with some of the busiest bass lines, guitar lines and keyboard work the band's ever done but hooks all over the place which is strange because after the band gives you an A and B section the entire song is taken over by a long dual guitar/keyboard solo which starts quiet and builds and builds to a climax taking a few turns along the way and finally gets back to the themes at the beginning for the finale.

And if that wasn't enough we're then led into what is really the first "epic" of 3RDegree's 25+ year existence-"Click Away!" clocking in at over 15 minutes and with 3 drastically different sections. The first section is quiet and brooding while the "hit single" comes in part 2's "Click Farm" with it's violin and bucolic feel of Pink Floyd meets McCartney's RAM. It all ends off with some really heavy riffing which has a great breakdown section and a reprise of part one.

Ending off the two album journey is the title track "Ones & Zeros" which makes you think that they held onto this song forever for the payoff here. This is like 3RDegree's "Layla' with it's drastically different first half and a second half full off overlapping guitar solos almost like the aforementioned "Layla" or XTC's "Books Are Burning".

The album although different is a solid counterpart to its other half and worth checking out.

 Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 by 3RDEGREE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.20 | 141 ratings

Ones & Zeros - Volume 0
3RDegree Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Some of you may recall seeing in the #5 position of the 2015 PA Top 100 an album called "Ones & Zeroes - Volume 1" by a band named 3rdegree. I noticed it, and in early 2016 I ordered a copy and was sufficiently impressed to go ahead and order the previous three albums, all of which have their share of rewards. However, this top-ranking album really stood apart from the others for me. More than a collection of songs, it was a concept album about life extension and ultimately becoming trans-human, i.e. becoming integrated with the Net as an entity, leaving your biological human form behind.

Now with any "volume 1" there can be expected a second volume, and after a long wait, 3rdegree finally released "Ones & Zeroes: vol. 0". Perfect! The duology is now complete!

There was some trepidation on behalf of the band. Would the second part live up to the expectations of listeners who rated volume 1 so highly? From the get go, any doubts just fly out the window. Just plug into the opening track, an instrumental entitled "Re1install_0verture". If that isn't a solid welcome back that'll pull you out of your seat then I don't know what. It's a brilliant start to the album which includes musical themes from both Vol. 1 and Vol. 0.

Now just let that album play and get into it. We are done with the topic of extending one's existence and so we've also said goodbye to Valhalla Biotech, which I felt added charm and atmosphere to volume 1. But our future modern world is dissected further with the topics of synthetic companions, genetic manipulation of the unborn, click farms, and other technological wonders we are enjoying or on the cusp of benefitting from.

I say this with intended irony because that it how 3rdegree wants you to understand their views of these technological developments. As with the lyrics of any of their albums I know, there is a cynicism masquerading in naive optimism. Which brings me round to the opinion that each song has lyrics intended to provoke thought and possibly a little alarm or concern as well. Add to that the unique and skillful vocal delivery of George Dobbs and you have songs that beckon your attention.

Although it would be easy enough for me to write complimentary words for every track, the big number has to be "Click Away!", a track over 15 minutes long and broken into parts, though it runs without breaks and shifts seemlessly from one part to the next. The song's lyrics are not included inside the digipak and you need to visit their web site where the lyrics appear with links to other web sites appear in the lyrics. 3rdegree have made the theme of "click away" a reality!

3rdegree have no problem coming up with engaging music, but at times you might not really pick up on the prog aspect. Their music older music previously struck me as 1990's alternative college radio intellectual tunage that was fed and raised on seventies prog. But with "Ones and Zeros" there seems to be much more going on. Wait! Was that a bit of Supertramp I heard closing off the album? Maybe it's just my imagination. Is there a suggestion of Styx? Or Queen? Well, you get the point. But anyway, 3rdegree's music is like a complex architectural structure that does its job. No blazing cascades of notes. No overt brandishing of time signatures in your face. No forced stops and starts. Just music that sounds cool and offers more nutrition for the soul than your typical mainstream alternative band. And yet I can't help feel that the band have really stretched themselves out this time, creating an album that is perhaps more "proggy" than their earlier works, but still managing to get some great melodies in the songs.

What else can I say but congratulations to 3RDegree for an album well worth the wait! Now I really want to hear volumes 1 and 0 back to back!

Thanks to micky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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