For a music aficionado like myself, I don't know if the Internet is more of a godsend or a curse. Just about every musician or band out there now has their own MySpace page with samples of music available for listen. So unlike when I peruse the sorry-ass CD shelves of my local Best Buy or Wal-Mart and am rarely ever motivated to buy anything they have to offer, I am always overwhelmed by the number "must-buy" music offerings I come across on the Internet. If only I were a millionaire with more time to spare.
New Jersey-based 3RDegree was one of those bands I stumbled across recently while reading new progressive-rock reviews on the most excellent Dutch Progressive Rock Page website. The band has just released Narrow-Caster, their first album in 12 years, as well as the companion DVD/two CD live set entitled The Reunion Concerts. If there was any justice in this upside down music world, 3RDegree would have made a splash back in '96, and this whole reunion thing would have never been necessary. But, hey, Brittany Spears is number one again, so it's all good.
3RDegree's 1996 album, Human Interest Story, sparked some local interest in the band, but not nearly enough to sustain them full time, especially in a country that supports progressive music about as much as it supports an atheist running for public office. Although the band displays many of the standard prog-rock trademarks - varying time signatures, complex vocal harmonies, instrumental virtuosity - the prog label should be used pretty loosely with these guys. Your average pop-rock listener might dismiss them as simply too proggy, while the hardcore prog community might find them to be not quite prog enough. This may have been what hurt them back in the '90s.
Back in late 2005, band members Robert James Pashman, Pat Kliesch, Rob Durham, and George Dobbs met in a New York City pub to discuss the idea of a possible reunion. Several beers later, they all decided to give it another go. They began recording Narrow-Caster the following year, and then played a few gigs in 2007 to see if they could still cut the mustard live. The Reunion Concerts DVD shows that they most certainly could.