Hailing from North Wilkesboro, NC, ReverbNation artist 3 Quarters Dead thrive on a sound evocative of the likes of Staind and later day Mudvayne and are just as tight musically as those bands are. Singer Jason Sain definitely reveals the influence Aaron Lewis had on his vocals and his subject matter in the excellent “Sometimes.” With some really great breaks and bridges, not to mention guitar solo, “Sometimes” is some of guitarists Mark Alexander and Sam Rhodes’ best work on their recent album The Cycle of Dust. “Divinity,” the very next track on the album demonstrates that 3 Quarters Dead isn’t a Staind clone though. One of the longer songs on the album at 4 minutes and 11 seconds, “Divinity” is also one of the most complete songs on the album. From its softly soaring intro to it’s heavy verse and chorus, “Divinity” is the song that will make you a 3 Quarters Dead fan.
Other tracks like “Pinebox” are simple, straightforward rockers. “Pinebox” distinguishes itself with Sain’s almost spoken word-like vocals though. On “Cutting Myself,” the band exposes their affinity for the 90s grunge big boys, but here Sain seems to be invoking the lyrical stylings of Maynard James Keenan here and there in the song between his usual guttural utterances. “Arsenic” is in “Divinity’s” league as far as wholeness of composition and execution.
“Plaything” evokes the guitar riffing spirit of Stone Temple Pilots, another one of their apparent favorites from the 90s grunge era (the do a pretty good cover of “Dead and Bloated” from STP’s first album-the track can be heard on ReverbNation). WIth a seriously heavy and instantly hooky opening riff that resurfaces throughout the song, “Plaything” thrives on it. The whole song is the sound of a band paying tribute to the type of music that originally inspired them to pick up their instruments, without relying on an imitation of their beloved genre of hard rock.
It is the ability of 3 Quarters Dead to pull off songs like “Plaything” without sounding like their covering old territory or rehashing tired sound that makes this a great band. As with recent bands focused on here in The Mainstream, like Laika, 3 Quarters Dead has a bright future ahead of them. I can’t wait to see what they do next musically.