I Prevail – Trauma

With the numbers they put up with debut LP Lifelines and the warm reception they received at Warped Tour, I Prevail clearly has designs on going mainstream. How grand are these designs? Well if Lifelines was them knocking at the door of stardom, Trauma (Fearless Records) is an urban assault vehicle demolishing the front gate and making its way through mainstream America.

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Imagine Dragons Steals Maraton’s Album Artwork For Their New Single

Norwegian prog rockers Maraton are releasing their debut album META, on April 26th via Indie Recordings. When Imagine Dragons released their ‘Bad Liar’ single last month the band noticed a shocking similarity between their album artwork and the ‘Bad Liar’ artwork. Hear the story right from Maraton themselves. Continue reading

Third Eye Blind – Dopamine

third eye blind dopamine 2015 album cover

Consistency can be admirable. So in that respect I can tilt my hat to Third Eye Blind who after 22 years and 5 albums still sound, well, uh, like Third Eye Blind. What that means is exclusively up to you.

It’s not like you needed that that shocking spoiler in the first paragraph. At this stage of the game, I don’t think anyone is expecting for Dopamine (Mega Collider) to rewrite the Third Eye Blind playbook. Main songwriter and frontman Stephen Jenkins continues to follow his muse and compose tunes about past relationships and substance abuse in that mildly 90s post-grunge style with just a dash of mild balladry.

And it’s probably with the more ballad leaning songs where Dopamine feels the dullest. ‘All the Souls’ is just straight up saccharine sweetness and empty calories. While ‘Blade’ never gets around to going anywhere. And hey, it’s cool. Public demand doesn’t seem particularly high for another ‘Jumper.’

On the more ambitious and experimental numbers like ‘Everything is Easy’ and ‘Exile’ is that Jenkins and his cohorts start to come alive most alive. The keyboards and atmospherics add fresh dynamics to the material. However it’s about showing restraint as well. The Queen-like ‘Get Me out of Here’ quickly gets way too awash in corniness and bombast for anyone to approach with a straight face.

And for those who prefer the Third Eye Blind sound from the Clinton/America Online era, ‘Rites of Passage’ feels like it would be right at home on their 1996 eponymous debut.

Although a little too long at 47 minutes, Dopamine, for the most part is a respectable slab of radio rock for fans of similar fare like OneRepublic or Imagine Dragons. Sure to musical elitists that’s more insult than compliment, but like I said before: what that means is entirely up to you.