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Ursa Major

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Album Review

When Third Eye Blind released Out of the Vein in 2003, they felt like post-grunge relics that refused to acknowledge their time had passed. Six years later, with Ursa Major in tow, they've surfaced just when late-'90s alt rock nostalgia is beginning to bubble. Tellingly, TEB shuck much of the heavy, oppressive sobriety of Out of the Vein replacing it with a touch of the fizzy, singsong hooks that made their debut a smash success. Without guitarist Kevin Cadogan, these hooks aren't as finely honed, but they're still present, still digging in right underneath the surface. Singer/songwriter Stephan Jenkins doesn't just rely on hooks, he retains no small element of the hard-edged social consciousness of Out of the Vein, signaling when it's time for things to get serious by toning down the hooks, turning down the volume, and letting the seriousness of the situation speak for itself.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although often lumped into the post-grunge category, Third Eye Blind sported a brighter sound than many of their late-'90s peers, taking as much influence from classic pop/rock traditions as the angst-ridden music that dominated the decade. The group scored its first hit in 1997, when the debut single "Semi-Charmed Life" cracked the Top 10. Third Eye Blind built upon that success throughout the following three years, releasing a number of singles (three of which cracked the Top 10) while touring...
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