- Artist: 3rDegree
- Format: CD
- Release Date:11/11/2008
Reviews: •'It's not often an album as refreshing as this comes along, and we should treasure it when it does. Thoughtful and intelligent lyrics are united with outstanding melodies and sonic creativity reminiscent of Kate Bush...The superb production enhances an already high-quality mix of songs, resulting in an album that demands repeated spins, and rewards every listen with some new revelation. Highly and unreservedly recommended! Conclusion: 9 out of 10' The DUTCH PROGRESSIVE ROCK PAGE (DPRP.net) Ron Faulkner 12/31/08 •'I'll admit, I actually got chills when reading along and listening to 'Cautionary Tale'...Narrow-Caster is an excellent effort with outstanding production and musical variety to hold your attention from beginning to end... I'm glad that I discovered the gem that this album is. Worthy of five resilient stars (out of 5). THE PROG FILES.COM Dale Juday 2/09 •'This is a triumphant return...everything here sounds fresh & first-rate! 3rDegree writes clever well-conceived tunes...strong melodies & catchy hooks rule the day...the harmonies are silky smooth & add a truly unique dimension to the group's already astute instrumental prowess...Highly Recommended!' PROGRESSION MAGAZINE 12/08 •'While the band resides in song-based material that always stays modestly concise they're still impressive on a number of levels, from composition to melody and mood. They definitely have a sound that's hard to compare to other acts since they have a touch of influence from the early 90s grunge bands, the 80s new wave music and a healthy dose of classic prog, but it all purees together nicely to make for a great listen that demands spin after spin...Don't be surprised if by the end of 'The Last Gasp' you just want to start the whole thing over again. This disc does not have a single weak point, although it does have many standouts throughout the album, and by cutting off any 'excess fat' they really have created a memorable bunch of tunes...This really is the start of something beautiful. While the band has been around for a good long time already there's no doubt they've finally found their sound and a way to get it out to the people. An impressive album that shows promise for a killer follow-up, this one is going to get a solid 4-stars out of 5. Highly recommended, this may be just the cure for people looking for unique progressive music that is a nice blend of old and new without ever becoming too 'retro'.' PROGARCHIVES.COM (Mike Sharkey) 12/14/08 •'The artists I buy without a thought to hearing first are those tried and true pioneers who more often than not succeed in gifting my life with songs to cheer my heart on a cold and dark day or make savoring the good times that much sweeter. I now have to add 3rDegree to that pantheon...Lots of bands write by acting like blenders for their various influences & crossing their fingers for a good result; 3rDegree revel in their mastery of colliding feels & sounds you'd never think to put together & somehow manage to smack it out of the park every time...Don't miss out on this one. 9.4 of 10' USAProgmusic.COM July 2008 •'There is a kind of sophistication and accomplishment present here which makes you wonder why these guys aren't more famous? Well let's hope that as the prog community get's a chance to hear the music of 3rDegree that will change. The music on Narrow-Caster is first rate and well worth getting ' Jerry Lucky (author of The Progressive Rock Handbook) JerryLucky.COM November 2008 •'From the opening track...I was simply hooked...3rDegree has captured me with this release...Well done guys! This is one of the best releases that I've reviewed this year. Without any doubt, I highly recommend...' PROGNAUT 12/08 •'Narrow-Caster is an album fully breathing spontaneity & freshness. 8 of 10' PROGRESSIA.NET (FRANCE) January 2009 •'...don't you just love it when your newly acquired proggy record is just that little bit unpredictable? That special harmonic chord sequence that comes around the corner when you least expect it or singer Dobbs whispering when a scream is in order and the other way around. I love it! 5 of 6 stars' ROCK REPORT.BE (BELGIUM)January 2009 •'So many semi-pro bands are killed by sub-par, amateur-sounding vocalists-especially some 'prog' bands who opt for wailing, Geoff Tate/James LaBrie imitators who do justice to neither. None such here...3rDegree knows when to come up for air, and Narrow-Caster never bogs down or takes itself too seriously, either. It's timely, progressive, literate, and has a lot of integrity. The more I listen, the more I like it. 4 Stars out of 5' SeaOfTranquility.ORG July 2008 •'3rDegree works in everything from grunge, hard rock, even a bit of rap, but also west coast sounds, soft electronica loops in their own cocktail of modern prog. 3rDegree are not as complex as Echolyn but have a sufficient supply of gimmicks and ideas ready so that the songs don't get boring. Their sound is fresh and new and has a whole lot of vague back-references to classical prog times. 11 of 15' Baby Blue Prog Reviews (Germany) August 2008 •'I liked this very much because while listening to it I didn't get the sense that it was a band trying to BE something. Rather I thought they had their own signature. While certainly having been influenced by myriad groups/artists from the past they have managed to carve out a little niche all their own.' Znr Cds October 2008 •'George Dobbs is praiseworthy: he knows 'release the dogs' in the way of a metal singer...but is equally at ease in times of acoustic delicacy and knows how to adjust his interpretation to each song, which is very rare. The diversity of influences makes 'Narrow-Caster' unpredictable, even after several listenings...One of the most exciting albums of the year.' Harmonie-Magazine.COM (France) November 2008 •'...the group wants to surprise us by imposing a music which does not have stylistic borders. And yes, one continues in this musical voyage where no taboo is disallowed and on the contrary one is in love with the beautiful melodies and beautiful vocal work where a certain Californian free spirit comes out on this progressive rock ("Young Once") before escaping in beautiful, well thought out instrumental passages.' Progressive-Area.COM (France) November 2008 Press Release: 3rDegree to Widely Release Long-Awaited Third Album "Narrow-Caster" on December 2, 2008 as deluxe "Eco-Wallet" New Jersey, USA - November 12, 2008 - After months of limited availability, including a "meet & greet" table at Nearfest 2008 and sales on it's own website, progressive rock's best-kept secret 3rDegree releases their first studio album in 12 years in a deluxe, plastic-free "Eco-Wallet". After receiving unabashed praise in many reviews since it's June unleashing from websites on both sides of the Atlantic, band leader Robert James Pashman started receiving large orders from Europe for the album which caught him off guard and largely unprepared. Having made modest amounts of CDs "DIY style" on nicely printed upon CDRs, the band found itself having to make a slew of new and "real" CDs to be ready for prime-time so to speak. This new "re-imagined" CD gives the songs the packaging they deserve as the band puts it's money where it's mouth is, using no plastic and forsaking the heavy and wasteful jewel case. To use a Seinfeldian description: "they're real...and they're fabulous!" 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 payoff choruses. Sandwiched in between is "Cautionary Tale", taking on the subject of militant religiosity in all it's forms and in a musical delivery no less intense than the subject deserves, "Young Once" with it's 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 en-joy), we are losing the common experiences we used to all share like watching the final M*A*S*H, 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. Biography: 3rDegree began when founder/bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Robert James Pashman met with drummer Rob Durham in December of 1990 with a common love of the progressive rock bands they had grown up with & in hopes of picking up where Pashman's last band had left off. A six month union with a guitarist didn't pan out until new guitarist Pat Kliesch was added in the summer of 1991 & the band played it's first show that November. Kliesch's hard driving off-kilter riffs & juxtaposed melodic acoustic writing gelled with Pashman's soaring hooks within strange meter: all this thrown in with the most capable Durham who reveled in the challenge of holding it all together. This would be the band's mantra to the present day: create challenging music to play but always with a memorable, singable calling card. The first chapter would be The World In Which We Live-a 10 song collection which was played all over New Jersey & New York City in rock venues from 1992 through 1995 alongside the much more interesting & refined tracks that would be it's epic follow-up. But one piece of the puzzle would be imperative to getting the band more noticed than ever before: a world-class lead vocalist. George Dobbs, who would be added in the summer of '95 would be that man. Also a keyboardist and bassist, the band's live shows would be a much fuller affair & the studio album a much more polished & diverse one. Human Interest Story was released & well received in April of 1996, but frustration with the band's inabilities to find it's market niche & fan base in a pre-internet age would make a January 1997 CBGB's performance it's last. In December of 2005, the three original members of the band met in a NYC bar with the idea of reforming. Demos were made of new & old songs left on the cutting room floor that the band had always thought were their strongest. Their singer would be found by July & the backing tracks for a new album recorded by October. April of 2007, would see the band playing their first live shows in over ten years at NJ Proghouse-a venue that would definitely have saved the band from it's earlier demise. The event & previous night's acoustic show would be captured in high definition & later released on DVD & double CD. The internet would also figure largely into 3rDegree redux finding new fans & even re-connecting with the original ones so that by summer 2008 when the band were ready with Narrow-Caster-it wouldn't fall on deaf ears at it's Nearfest (Bethlehem, PA progressive rock festival) debut. The reviews of this CD would herald that it was nothing short of the band's "masterwork" & possibly even worth the wait! A new plastic-less 'Eco-Wallet' © version was released on December 2, 2008. 3rDegree are writing & recording new material in hopes of releasing a studio album for 2010.
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