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3rDegree "Narrow-Caster"
3rDegree "Narrow-Caster"

The new reunion CD from New Jersey's prog-rock outfit 3rDegree is a true gem! Great prog-rock songs conceived with originality and played with enthusiasm. Odd time signatures and driving rhythms are the foundation of their music. Vocal harmonies & insightful lyrics give their songs something for the singer-songwriter fan, too. And it comes in an environmentally-friendly eco-wallet, too! They lead off with "Apophenia" (defined by Wikipedia as "the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.") a rousing rocker led by Robert James Pashman's driving bass. Next we have the Gentle Giant-ish "It Works" with wonderful wordplay and highlighted by the keyboard work of George Dobbs. The title track follows with a nice guitar solo by Pat Kliesch and some nice vocal harmonies ala Echolyn. "Live With This Forever" is a nice proggy track that depends on the combination of ethereal keyboard sounds and crunchy guitars with a punchy bass line recalling maybe Spock's Beard or The Flower Kings. Next up is perhaps our favorite track of the album "Cautionary Tale". Beginning with a Yes-like vocal flourish, it quickly settles into a nice groove that sorta sounds like a cross between Yes & maybe Porcupine Tree! Really nice drumming by Robert Durham, effortless groove support! More Yes-like vocal sections and a song that ponders the fundamental clash of cultures that is the result of the intersection of modernity and dogma run amuck. Then comes "The Proverbial Banana Peel" a great song about how we as a society like to see people fail, make fools of themselves or otherwise suffer indignities. "Young Once" is a lament for not having done some of the things we wanted to in our lives. Echolyn would've been proud to have written this one. "Scenery" is a real nice song centered around acoustic guitar and some of the band's best vocal stylings - sounding like a cross between 10cc and Genesis! "Free For All" nods to Dream Theater with throbbing bass and a big guitar sound but with a chorus that Genesis would've been proud of. And closing the album is "The Last Gasp" which melds a nice Genesis feel with a little 10cc-ish vocal & melodic style. George Dobbs' keyboards are particularly nice and very symphonic on this track. All in all, it is really hard to compare 3rDegree to any of their influences. They truly have absorbed everything they have come into contact with from symphonic prog to pop to funk to metal and used those experiences to shape their own individualistic sound. As the listener hears these songs there will be artists that come to mind but it will probably be a very different list for me than it will be for anyone else! Suffice to say that if this had been released in 1977, 3rDegree would be famous. Very famous!

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 10 October, 2008.
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