Third International (Andrew Pearson) is on the move. His first release entitled “Beautiful Accident” was released back in 2010. TI has just released their highly anticipated second album: Oblivion. I must admit this style of music doesn’t always translate easily for me. Admittedly, it may be due to some ancient held ideology of what my expectations is from Electronic-based rock music, especially lately.I mean have you listened to the Radio lately? Some of it is an over-reaching. Not that I don’t love this particular style of music mind you, so maybe it’s just that I haven’t been thoroughly exposed to some of the high end material. Many like to call this style of musicTI, Trance Dub or Ambient Chill. Indeed many of this was prevalent in 90’s through today but sad to say not it’s got its fair share of critics. However as I delved into this latest release with an open mindset and quickly discovered this is Progressive Rock with touches of Electronica and Ambent tidbits. TI yieldsraw power, all the whileupholding the highest standardswithin this not so saturated genera of Progressive Rock.
Many tracks like “Master Strange”, “Never Would Have Brought You Flowers” are emotional and deeply beat-heavystatementsbut with just the right amount of variety to keep a balance. The deadly combination of this arsenal of players present, Szabolcs Szenasi (Drums, Sampling, Machine Patterns), Enrique Mancia (Bass), and Brian Battersby (Audio Sampling) and Andrew Pearson (vocals, guitar, Synth and Moog).“Oblivion” delivers a sound that is highly original and fusionist. Some songs on the 11 track format even border on Bluesy-Progressive reminiscent of influences like Dire Straits. In this aspect Pearson is a good guitarist and indeed a musical force to be reckoned with.I get the impression he is in charge of every aspect of this production.
Despite all of the above I feel TI may be overqualified for a Chill/Dub classification. That is why I thinkAlternative Progressive Rock is a more accurate description of their music. Far from being background music the listener is bluntly invited toimmerse themselves into the life-blood pulsations from behind the microphone Pearson also reminds me of Puscifer, Incubus, Pink Floyd, Cold and Alter Bridge. I can even hear Michael Calfan, Tim Berg, CKY, and Thomas Gold. The songs provide the a-typical beats, magnificent twists and turns, even guitar and vocals delivered via a Top Tiered production value. Some moments hit the heart like a ton of brickslike hooky “Formaldehyde” and a few are more emotionally multi-layered but catchy as hell like “Helix” and “Barograph”. “Oblivion” is infectious as hell and rocks the house with its colorfulyet aggressive tapestry of overall sound that wrestles your senses into submission.
So it seems all of this is not tobe taken too lightly. Perhaps maintaining a healthy sense of excitement about each passing musical second is the key ingredient that makes this music so popular, so addictive. In this aspect I get TI and this second album as it delivers nothing but dark energy and comes straight from the speakersdirectly to your heart and soul. This style of music is all about the “here and now”, and maximizing all available senses to the process. It’s a thinking man’s rock – a real rarity today
by Rob Owskey