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Radio 7

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Album Review

It should be fairly easy to dismiss 3rd Degree from the "Glamour Shots" of the boys in the band and the corporate-sounding mixes of every track on their debut, Radio 7. The reason it's not is because they seem to really enjoy what they're doing, and write a few infectious mainstream pop/rock tunes in the process. Sure, this is a prime example of post-millennial mainstream power pop in the SR-71/Goo Goo Dolls vein; very slick and produced, and marginally more conscious of image than the quality of the music. But the strange thing about Radio 7 is how it feels like the band is legitimately influenced by that stuff, and is mimicking the style without a trace of irony. It's a subtle notion, and one that doesn't really reveal itself until the third or fourth listen, when crisp, chunky rock songs like "Leave Yourself Behind" or "Never Ending Headtrip" and the band's inspired production trips step out of the murk. At its best, the band (particularly vocalist Jon Paul) bears some resemblance to the Tories, who were easily one of the best examples of how good this type of music could be if it tried. So while Radio 7 is merely a decent pop/rock record, it's a pretty good start.

Radio 7, 3rd Degree
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