Third Eye Blind - Our Bande Apart Music Album Reviews

Third Eye Blind - Our Bande Apart Music Album Reviews
The latest album from Stephan Jenkins’ alt-rock band is full of big swings and big misses, but its best songs elicit a modest, familiar sense of nostalgia.

As tales of Stephan Jenkins’ overbearing demeanor, business chicanery, and outright creepiness have mounted, the Third Eye Blind mastermind has become something of a caricature: Who does this “semi-charmed” guy think he is? It’s easy to imagine the 57-year-old songwriter walled away in a fortress like Phil Spector, tinkering with bridges and chord progressions, scrawling four-syllable adjectives on scratch paper and hastily striking them out, smiling in recollection of adoring crowds from the 2009 homecoming show at Skidmore. Or was it ‘98? As weeks turn to months, he cycles through bandmates and session players, and the old howling question remains: How’s it gonna be when you don’t know me anymore?

The same grandiosity that always made Jenkins an easy target, however, is also what set Third Eye Blind apart. While their alt-rock peers hunched in the smirking self-deprecation of “Sex and Candy,” he crafted arena-sized records that owed as much to glam rock as to the post-grunge canon. The triptych of 1997’s Third Eye Blind, 1999’s Blue, and 2003’s Out of the Vein is packed with such melodrama and so many gutsy melodies that all the coke and blowjobs sound downright Shakespearean. If Jenkins really believed his cock-rock to be the scion of Renaissance poetry, it at least made 3EB a far more interesting band than Marcy Playground.

Their seventh full-length, Our Bande Apart, comes adorned with the usual trappings, and it often hinges on how much stomach you have for lyrics like “It’s just a demon road/But we have to go.” Jenkins is a man who sees constellations in the female anatomy; he also remains weirdly obsessed with nautical expeditions. But Our Bande Apart’s sporadic cheekiness feels like a minor accomplishment. “New order, shit won’t stop/We’ll never sing about tits and ass again,” he deadpans on “Goodbye to the Days of Ladies and Gentlemen.” This is an artist who either fears obsolescence or is in on the joke—perhaps a bit of both.

With his eye for sticky imagery and nose for narrative climaxes, Jenkins strikes gold at a reliable rate. When the rapturous chorus finally arrives on “Box of Bones,” you want to pump your fist in triumph. It’s the sort of gracefully delivered moment that helped 3EB transcend the frat-rock scene, and it’s remarkable that these visions of reckless infatuation continue to rattle around his head. And yet, it’s also his most understated single to date: no falsetto, no rapping, barely any percussion. The final chorus all but announces a soaring instrumental breakdown; instead, the song just ends.

The intimate arrangements of acoustic guitars and keyboard give Our Bande Apart something of a quarantine cabin vibe. Founding member Kevin Cadogan is long gone, as is his hard-rocking successor Tony Fredianelli. Their latest replacements—among them a multi-instrumentalist who goes by colin creeV, in tribute to the Harry Potter character—aren’t tasked with replicating their pulsing rhythms and theatrical solos. “Dust Storm (How We Hold Each Other Right Now)” is pleasantly jangly; “Funeral Singers” unfolds around a punchy riff. “To the Sea” and “Time in Berlin” recall the chamber-pop ponderousness of 2009’s Ursa Major.

There are still moments when you can’t help but laugh at the MFA-level indulgence: “He got you pregnant on the night you met,” Jenkins sings in “The Dying Blood.” “Full-year pandemic and you don’t regret it.” He is incapable of making a quiet pop record—his idealism manifests in big swings and big misses. Given the songs’ familiar structures, Our Bande Apart doesn’t always stand on its own: “Box of Bones” sounds a bit too much like “Wounded,” “Silverlake Neophyte” like “Motorcycle Drive-By.” Yet even these glimpses of surrender have their charms. For a quarter-century, Jenkins has tried to find language commensurate with his fathomless desire, but Our Bande Apart alights upon a more modest, delicate nostalgia—the kind that makes you want to call up an old friend you haven’t thought about in years.
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Third Eye Blind - Our Bande Apart Music Album Reviews Third Eye Blind - Our Bande Apart Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 08, 2021 Rating: 5


Post a Comment