Three Days Grace

Life Starts Now

Written by: TL on 05/11/2009 18:58:23

Three Days Grace is a band name I've noticed in many a passing, but never picked up on, mostly because I never was a fan of the music the band is usually mentioned in connection to, and as such, I was actually hoping to away them all together. However, us being overburdened as always and me being the least behind for a spell, meant that suddenly, all kinds of odd and unusual records were dumped in my album queue, and amongst them was Three Days Grace third LP, "Life Starts Now".

The reason I've been side-stepping this band is simple: They are firmly footed, as this record also proves, in post-grunge, a genre that I personally find to be floating in an artistic coma, only kept alive by the life-support of greedy labels who are eager to retain a steady flow of income from those more casual music-fans, who haven't realized that we are living in 2009, not 1999. More accurately speaking, TDG are located in the heavier end of said genre, and could be considered similar to Chevelle, if they weren't so unashamedly mainstream that fans of that band would be far less inclined to jump their bandwagon, than fans of more commercial outfits, such as for instance Cold or Alter Bridge maybe?

Regardless, what I've found on this record is that TDG aren't by any means as horrible a band as I maybe feared, in fact they're pretty decent. A conclusion I'm forced to make as "Life Starts Now" delivers a steady stream of music that betrays an impeccable sense for both melody and dynamics. If there ever was a book on solid songwriting, I'm sure that TDG would be able to recite it back to front, and therein lies also partly the reason for why they are merely a decent band, not an impressive one. You see from the first song and throughout, you'll know beyond a doubt exactly what is going to happen in a song, long before you've heard it through. That's how formulaic the stuff on offer here is. TDG may be filling out variables in their equation with great efficiency, (catchy riff + mellow chorus + powerful chorus = profit) but you'll be hard pressed to feel that you're listening to anything of any particular originality.

That feeling is strengthened by the lyrics that come so skillfully delivered by main man Adam Gontier. Like the band itself, they aren't so cheesy that it ever gets really annoying, but still you have the constant awareness that it has the depth of a tea cup. Themes mostly revolve around the classical: I've loved and lost and I'm trying to cope -scenario, and are sung with all the eloquence and sophistication a stereotypical, macho, nu-metaller can muster.

So all in all, this is the kind of thing that balances on a knife-edge as far as I'm concerned. It isn't quite shallow or poorly enough executed to enrage me and make me want to axe it, but it certainly is far too polished and generic for me to ever admit to anyone that I like Three Days Grace. Hence it's appeal on you, dear reader, will depend on your own disposition. If you unapologetically enjoy this kind of radio-friendly, arena-packing, post-grunge, then there are good songs to be heard in amongst others, "Break", "World So Cold" and "Last To Know", even though I would still more readily recommend bands like Cold or Sick Puppies. However, if you're like me, more or less in tune with the music of the current decade, then you'll probably already have enough music from way-back-when in your collection, to last you through those rare times when your mood goes to a place where that is called for, and then I don't think there are nearly enough positive surprises on "Life Starts Now" to be worth your money or attention.

Download: Break, World So Cold, Last To Know
For The Fans Of: Cold, Sick Puppies, Alter Bridge
Listen: myspace.com/threedaysgrace

Release Date 22.09.2009
Jive records

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