Review: 3rd Alley – Double Single

Review: 3rd Alley – Double Single

3rd Alley – Double Single
Track Listing:
1.) Medicated
2.) Bloodshot Eyes

Record Label: Long Beach Records
Album Artwork By: Jenny Ayala
Album Produced By: Zack Walters & Adam Arnold for King Money Music

The Pier Album Rating:

Group Background:
3rd Alley formed in October 2004 after Zack Walters, then a solo artist, sent a four-track demo to Long Beach Records, landing on Greg Mudd Lowther’s ears (of Falling Idols fame and co-owner of Long Beach Records). An epiphany by fellow-listener Tyson Parrish, lead to, You gotta see if this guy needs a band! Zack, Tyson and Mudd got together, started jamming, and 2 months later found themselves in front of sold out crowds supporting Long Beach Shortbus across America.

Since those early days the band has gone thru some lineup changes, adding members such as Todd Elrod on drums and Andre Davis on Bass. Both these members have since moved on to new projects within the So Cal reggae scene. These days the band consists of 4 full time members, Singer/songwriter and lead guitarist, Zack Walters, Todd Forman, Sublime saxophonist, joined 3rd Alley soon after hearing After School Special, the bands first full length release, Si Short formerly of British reggae punk band Captain Bud is the newest member of 3rd Alley, and Jack Hale on drums.

Album Review:
Here are two brand new songs from 3rd Alley’s upcoming album Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda. Featuring Todd Forman of Sublime/Sublime with Rome. This will be the first release since their 2008 sophomore album Shiny Shady people. The first single Medicated is a fun upbeat piece with a nice array of upstrokes and horn lines leaving you with an urge to dance, what adds more dimensions to this song are the lyrics which are anything but happy. This break up song has a very catchy chorus, Zack Walters does a great job making you feel the pain and torment with his lyrics yet is able to lift your spirits with the guitar all at the same time. Todd Foreman’s saxophone really adds to the melancholy with a great solo following the chorus. After listening to this song a few times I had the chorus stuck in my head for days.

The second single Bloodshot Eyes was inspired by The Diary of a Drug Fiend by Aleister Crowley and although the song has a lot of potential to be a main stream radio track with its fun, feel-good beat, the lyrics did not do it justice. With an inspiration such as the one they used I would have expected a more moving song, but instead Zack sings about how smoking too much tweek will leave you shriveled and dry. I had to listen to the song way too many times to finally understand the point they were trying to get across.

I can’t listen to these songs without acknowledging the production quality which is one aspect that the band has improved noticeably. The addition of the saxophone by Todd Forman is also very exciting as it adds another awesome element to their ska-ish sound also another reason why the first single was enough to make me want listen to more of their new material, but the second single made me think twice about it. I did like that these tracks sound similar to their 2005 debut album After School Special with a nice vibe and catchy choruses. It’s also pretty cool that the cover art was done by a fan from Sacramento. I am interested in listening to the entire new album to see what direction the band took, sometimes I feel that simplicity is best and abstract lyrics can be a little too distracting.

Written & Reviewed by: Mariana Norcalchika Rojas
~Let The Music Take You Higher~

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