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Three Days Grace – “Life Starts Now” (2009) April 28, 2010

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2009, Three Days Grace, Uncategorized.
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Written by Andrew Hart

A staple of rock radio since 2003 thanks to hits like “Just Like You,” and “Riot,” Three Days Grace are hardly a bunch of obscure nobodies.  The band has developed a reputation for aggressive and angry music, fueled on the power of anthems that fight against the antagonists of the world.  Now, while many bands would take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, Three Days Grace seems to demand differently of themselves, and while they may have achieved fame by being angry and hateful, their third album seems like a fresh start for the band.  I guess it’s only fitting that the title of that album be Life Starts Now.

Unlike their past two albums, Life Starts Now showcases a reinvigorated, and dare I say happy version of the band.  The opening track “Bitter Taste” is not only a biting attention-grabber, but also one that serves as the perfect bridge between this album and 2006’s One-X.  The song revolves around the line “So long, I have erased you,” and as intense as it sounds, it’s really just a song about moving on and being damn happy about it.  It’s a pretty killer song too, with some impressive drumwork leading out of the chorus, and some passionate vocals from frontman Adam Gontier.

The theme of moving on from a bitter past is evident throughout Life Starts Now, perhaps most prevalently in show-stealing ballad “Last To Know.”  Primarily piano-driven, the emotional track begins by delving into a failed relationship, but turns the theme on a dime mid-song by screaming about the future failures of a new one.  It’s angry, but also optimistic, at least for fans of a pulse-pounding hard rock band.  It’s a revenge song at it’s best, and Gontier displays some impressive falsetto vocals for the first time in the band’s career.  By the end of the song you’ll have shivers running up and down your back as it hits impressive notes, especially in an impressive climax.

A lot of tracks on Life Starts Now aren’t as immediately accessible as much of Three Days Grace’s past catalog.  Only leadoff single “Break” and “Riot”-inspired “The Good Life” are ear-grabbing immediately, but this album rewards repeated listens with surprising depth.  Deep cuts like “No More” and “Someone Who Cares” are some of the best tracks in the band’s catalog.  Still, it wouldn’t be a Three Days Grace record without a few mediocre rock tracks.  This time that gap is filled by “Bully,” a song that just feels like it’s trying too hard, and “Goin’ Down,” both late- record tracks.  It’s totally made up for though by the end, as “Life Starts Now” is easily the best closing track in the band’s discography, and a fantastic, uplifting way to end a surprisingly optimistic record.

Life Starts Now isn’t a modern rock classic, nor is it even a brilliant album, but what it is a great step in the right direction for a band who’s schtick was already feeling old two albums in.  Life Starts Now is refreshing, rewarding, and a revelation for the career of a band who takes way too long to put out new albums.  With winning tracks like “Last To Know,” and “Bitter Taste,” it’s easy to forgive the faults of the record and just look at a greatly accessible modern rock album.  While not fantastic now, Life Starts Now may eventually be seen as a turning point for Three Days Grace, and for that it should be a respected, and constantly played record.

8 out of 10 – Download “Bitter Taste”

Rawk out to Three Days Grace on Myspace and Facebook


Hello? Is this thing on? December 28, 2009

Posted by rawkfistmusic in Uncategorized.
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So news time kids, good stuff this time.

Rawkfist Music will be reopening it’s doors sometime in the next few days with brand new reviews, and will return to full time reviewing of stuff.  Why is this?  Well, I’m going to get to that.  Until then, just know that new reviews are on the way, big end of the year stuff I missed like Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace, as well as little bands I picked up by the names of Plan Three and A Broken Silence.  Look forward to all of that and more, as Rawkfist Music makes it’s big return to the internet.

Also, if for any reason you want to treasure one of the non-review posts forever, I’d save it now, as most of the podcast and other related posts will be deleted sometime in the next few days.  Other changes are going to be made as well.

OH!  And the nominees of the 2009 RMAs will be announced soon.  Rejoice.

Thanks, Andrew

Direct Contradiction July 8, 2008

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Written by Jake

It dawned on me on my drive home tonight that metal as we might know it today is more toned down and more widely-known than it used to be. There used to be a select few, a group of utter maniacs who were fans of real metal. Metal like Sabbath, Coal Chamber, Lucifer’s Friend and Bloodrock. This fine group of bands, and many more like them, are the last remnants of a better a time. A time when metal was metal, and the line between rock and metal wasn’t quite so blurred.

Not that there’s anything wrong with bands like Chevelle, Disturbed, Atreyu and Slipknot. In fact, I enjoy listening to ALL of them. Three of them make my top 5 favorite bands, and all make my top 10. But sometimes I start to miss the old metal. The one everyone HATED but those few of us who could appreciate the energy of the screaming and the thrashing of the guitar. The rapid beat of the drums, the thumping, deep, haunting bass lines. The kind of metal that was played on Hallo-fucking-ween and MADE KIDS RUN.

It just seems like it’s unacceptable know-a-days. Like being hardcore motherfuckers and screaming into a microphone is blasphemy. Of course, people like Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper are godfathers of metal too and their music is considered quite very much the shit. The reason is that they’ve moved on with the times.

They haven’t sold out (not like Cooper could anyway. Does even still make CDs?), and they never will. What I’m talking about is that they’ve adapted their music just ever so slightly so as to keep it true to the original formula, but more acceptable by modern societies standards. Ozzy’s new CD was given a slightly more than luke warm reception, but mostly just because he’s Ozzy. He would receive MUCH better reviews if he were to, say, make an album like Lead Sails Paper Anchor by Atreyu, or Avenged Sevenfolds recent self-titled opus.

The fact of the matter is that people love things they THINK are hardcore, but absolutely loathe things that stay true to the formula. If there is too much screaming or too much shredding they say they “get a headache” when they hear it. If it’s toned down a little, however, but still performs like a metal song, they suddenly fall in love with it and want to make love to the fucking track.

No, I think the Millennials are to blame for this one. We’re smarter than our parents in most ways, or at least we have the ability to be. We wear flipflops to work and have our iPod headphones jammed in one ear and our cell phones glued to the other. The music industry needs to step away from all of the Miley Cyrus’ and Red Jumpsuits and all this indie crap. They need to step back and just look. They need to realize it’s time to go back.

They need to get all sorts of nostalgic on our asses. And you know the best part? We’ll never see it coming.