CD REVIEW: Third International - Chemical Eyes
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Third International
Album: Chemical Eyes
Label: Independent Music Promotions
Genre: Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock, Classic Rock
Sounds Like: Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, King Crimson
Weakness: Short Sided EP, More Solos. Mix, Marketability, Cover Art Concept
New Jersey based band Third International just released their latest 2 song EP entitled Chemical Eyes (2012). Band members include Andrew Pearson. In his own words: I used to be pro years ago and had some success playing original music. I quit the biz, developed a successful career in another field, and after many years decided I had the freedom I wanted to play again. This is a project I started in 2010. I have recorded two albums and one single with various musicians at my studio. The music is promoted worldwide and receives in excess of 6000 plays every month on one internet station alone.It is also hooked into the LIve365 network and receives worldwide airplay on that too. There are over 5000 registered THIRD INTERNATIONAL fans now. I write constantly and have a great deal I want to say. Now it's time to put the band out live and I am looking for FRESH, CREATIVE, MUSICAL people. People who "get it". People who can PLAY TOGETHER.
The EP kicks things off with Track 1 “Chemical Eyes” a methodical prelude piece of sorts that’s serves up impressive guitar ambience, panted against sonic bass textures and impressive vibe. This leads you head first into Track 2 “Good Friday at Little Rock” a bluesy rock anthem that serves up impressive musical build against foreboding vocal delivery and thought provoking lyrical content. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, with perhaps a dash of. The music delivers a dynamic Classic Rock, Progressive Rock musical format, but also touches on Ambient Rock and Progressive Rock. The style of the music is highly original and refuses to be pinned down the first listen. The vocals are impressive, compelling and push the envelope and imagination. The guitar playing is very melodic and dynamic and the musical flow and ebb is highly creative. The overall vocal style works well with the confines of this progressive catalogue. Rhythm section - lays down the low end groove thick as a brick. I don’t know who the session players are as there are no liner notes. I will add on the above URL is says Pearson is searching for a Drummer/Bassist so I assume he did all the session work himself.. What I like most about the music is its sheer unpredictability note for note and song for song. Turning our attention over to Pearson he gets high marks from me for his persistence, killer guitar playing and rock solid musical instincts throughout.
I don’t get the cover art concept and how it relates to the EP. It’s fair to say the 2 song line-up is a bit short, even for an EP. Like the aforementioned: there are no liner notes on the flipside on the EP to indicate who the session players or engineers were. The mix though adequate is a bit all over the place and falls short when compared to other world class release within the genera. More specifically I don’t like the way the vocals sound or sit within the mix. If I was a betting man I would wager this EP was engineered by Pearson himself. For the record - all 3 of the production phases (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) should be handled by a separate and experienced music professional. Additionally all 3 production phases must be completed successfully in order for the next phase to be completed successfully in order to be considered industry standard. I also wish I heard more solo guitar segments throughout. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the aforementioned issues do affect the CD’s overall marketability. I also typically deduct 1 star for EP releases as the full length release is a more complete snapshot of what an artist is capable of at any given time.
This latest release from Third International shows promise for Andrew Pearson and is clearly the best Third International yet. Its strength – the strong song for song consistency, progressive dynamics and thought provoking subject matter that keeps coming at you. The music is progressive, unpredictable, compelling and highly original. I can’t wait to hear the full length release soon.