Review Summary: Enjoyable to anybody who likes a blend of post-grunge and southern rock.
Third Day. Everybody knows who they are, love them or hate them, they are a major name in today’s Christian music scene, as well as receiving secular recognition. They’ve had countless tours, played at televised athletic events, toured on Winterjam, you name it, Third Day’s probably done it. However, a listen to Third Day’s newest album would befuddle you as to their roots. In fact, Third Day has somewhat mellowed out since their early inception in the 90s. Though they’ve always had southern rock leanings, it’s been getting tamer and tamer (for the majority ) since they began. Third Day, at one point, also possessed post-grunge leanings. Enter the 1996 debut Third Day.
As a whole, the album has a strong southern sound: Mac Powell’s smooth vocals with a slight raspy tinge does the greater part of emphazing the Atlanta roots of Day. However, it doesn’t sound awkward or gimmicky, but rather like it fits the group. As for the slight post-grunge edge, some tracks are somewhat similar to a dumbed-down Creed or Pearl Jam. There’s never any screamed vocals, but rather a convicting attitude from the band that cements the rockier side. Guitarist Brad Avery never shreds a groundbreaking solo, but his electric riffing, mini-solos, and acoustic playing also fill up a large part of the album- and the band’s- sound. He’s a talented guitarist, and it’s a shame he eventually left the band. Drummer David Carr and bassist Tai Anderson don’t do a whole lot out of the box, instead they just propel the songs with barely-audible bass lines and predictable drum parts.
There are a great deal of standouts, and each showcase a different side of the band. Opener Nothing at All is the ideal track for the mix of Creed and southern rock, sounding strong and heavily enjoyable. Mama has some of the best riffs the whole album, as well as an outstanding vocal performance. No Third Day live showing is complete without classic Consuming Fire, the strongest song all album and one of Third Day’s best. Thief is one of their strongest ballads, with extremely moving and powerful lyrics, and Praise Song blends piano and acoustic/electric-picked riffs extremely well.
Indeed, this is a strong record. Powell is an incredibly gifted vocalist, and Brad is an extremely talented guitarist. Both propel this guitar-and-vocalist driven band extremely well, and their chemistry between one another is energizing. In addition, Third Day has a fitting rock edge here, and the added almost-angst portrays their message to an even greater believable degree. There are, however, a few filler tracks, and bassist and drummer could contribute a slightly greater portion. Lyrically, Third Day is a straight up Christian band, and if you are offended by this, you’ll hate them from the start. They reference Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit more than a few times, but instead of being boring and cliched, Mac delivers it to a gripping and powerful level.
Third Day crafted a great debut album, one that’s highly Enjoyable to anybody who likes a blend of post-grunge and southern rock. If this chemistry is what you are seeking, and the lyrics don’t offend you, this is highly recommended. However, if religious lyrics are an issue for you, look past Third Day’s self-titled record.