their first studio album since 1996’s HUMAN INTEREST STORY

 

1 Apophenia

2 It Works

3 Narrow-Caster

4 Live With This Forever

5 Cautionary Tale

6 The Proverbial Banana Peel

7 Young Once

8 Scenery

9 Free For All

10 The Last Gasp

JUNE 2008 3RDegree‘s first studio album in 12 years is released.  The 10-song CD (or download) was started just over 2 years ago when the band reformed after a long hiatus.  It is a mix of songs, some started at the end of the quartet’s first tenure and some fresh compositions upon the band’s restart.  The collection is a real tour-de-force through the different types of songs the band have shown capable of pulling off: from the intense odd-timing of “Apophenia”-a song about humanity’s tendency to look for patterns and meaning in the seemingly meaningless-to the pastoral, gentle delivery of “Scenery”-a grand addition to the band’s canon of melodic and accessible songs with long multi-part lead ups to great pay-off choruses.  Sandwiched in between is “Cautionary Tale”, taking on the subject of militant religiosity in all its forms and in a musical delivery no less intense than the subject deserves, “Young Once” with its synthesized, other-worldly respite-an oasis on the way to the album ending “The Last Gasp”, which features full orchestration along side the band calling out “sing on!” until the band and orchestra break down in an almost exhausted fashion.  
The concept of Narrow-Caster has to do with how we-with the help of technology- can now focus in on the art, entertainment and perhaps soon-people-that interest us while cutting out the things we don’t like or don’t think we like.  While this makes it easier for us to find what we want to focus in on (like those things we know we already enjoy), we are losing the common experiences we used to all share-like watching the final M*A*S*H or Seinfeld, or hearing the songs of the Top 40.  Since we can narrowly cast a line out to those things tried and true, we may suffer from an inability to be exposed to something outside our sphere like jazz or a different kind of beer or a unique movie.  While it’s certainly not the end of the world, the internet is changing how we are exposed to art and possibly what we would even classify as art.

Narrow-Caster is available on the band’s website in CD form or download.

A guide to 3RDegree’s NARROW-CASTER:

Whether it’s the Illuminatti entrenched in the FTC, dead aliens 
in your phone/TV static, or the Virgin Mary's visage on a 
grilled cheese sandwich, take a ride through it all in Apophenia --maybe you’ll just figure out what the word itself means along the way! 

An imperfect reality imagined --one may say It Works, but for 
how long, and for whom? Can a tip of the balance only bring 
about something worse? Perhaps the chance for a positive change 
was lost long ago anyway. 

Do we all just want to hear what we know we will like on constant replay-whether it be music, political ideology or even 
food?! If yes, then you sir, are a Narrow-Caster. 

Did O.J. “get away with it”? Not if he ever hears Live With 
This Forever! ‘Nuff said. 

Q: How to tackle religious extremism armed to the teeth and 
seemingly unflinching in its aim and with generations of chil- 
dren in tow in a song? A: Agnostically as we can. While it 
seems Islam is the terroristic flavor du jour, many religions 
have their own share of terrible moments to be sure. Truly, 
there are many a Cautionary Tale. 

As much as we try not to, we often laugh at another's misfor- 
tunes as they slip on The Proverbial Banana Peel. The Germans 
explained it in one word: schadenfreude. But it deserves an 
entire song. 

We were all Young Once. You ever been staid-”phoning it in”- 
possibly for far too long? 

While we often look for a change of Scenery we sadly, rarely 
succeed in inhabiting that new place. 

Imagine a society in full decay --once promised to be free for 
all, now become a Free For All! 

Meditate on how some of the wicked perpetuate even when their 
capture seems imminent, while the pathetic or outright innocent 
are throttled unjustly with hardly a moments notice --it boggles the mind how and when The Last Gasp seems to be "chosen."