Third Of Never: Downrising

Downrising, the second full-length from New Jersey-based rock band Third Of Never, was made with the intent to shed the excess components and return to the underlying principals of their music. The effect becomes a very back-to-basics rock record, complete with all the classic elements like catchy guitar riffs and metaphorical lyrics. Strong influences of The Who can be heard, which comes as no surprise, as the album guests John Bundrick, who toured and worked with the British rockers. Third Of Never even covered Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open The Door” on their 2008 debut, Moodring.

Not only is the old-school rock and roll feel of The Who present on the release, but so is the college rock alternative sound of R.E.M. Lead singer CJ Grogan sounds especially Michael Stipe-y on the song “So Long,” where he wails, “So long and goodbye to the one I love.”

The album is fantastic at parts, although it sometimes feels as if the band is trying to create a prog rock record instead. Out of 14 songs and one bonus track, five are one minute or less and mainly instrumental. The opener, “Phaedra,” is 28 seconds of wordless space music, and is an atypical way to kick off an LP. “Christmas Lights” is intrinsically strange, as it’s composed of strumming guitars and tiny tidbits of barely distinguishable voiceovers taken from what sounds like old presidential speeches. These interludes miss the mark of leading in and out of the longer cuts, and instead cause a disruption between them. However, energizers like “Green Roses,” “Lifesaver,” as well as the bonus, “Yellow House,” make this collection worth a listen. Despite the perplexing interruptions, the album is very well done, and imparts the rock and roll attitude upon the listener.

In A Word: Fundamental