Three Doors Down: The Better Life


By Steve Lichtenstein

If you’re going to rip off another bands’ sound, however subtly you think you may be doing it, pick a band with some legit credibility. That would seem logical, right? That’s why you can see influences in a lot of bands from the likes of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Pixies, and Beck. It makes sense. Conversely, when was the last time you ever heard anyone say, “Hey, that sounds a lot like REO Speedwagon?” You know what? It probably is REO Speedwagon.

This being said, and my apologies to a band I did once find to be fairly talented and a least listenable before a well publicized fight with a record exec named Heroin destroyed them, Three Doors Down sounds a lot like Stone Temple Pilots. Or even Creed. Or a host of other stale attempts at brooding alt-rock metal. Granted, the first single, “Kryptonite,” has a good beat, doesn’t preach much, doesn’t sound hopelessly recycled. Even has, as a co-worker/friend of mine noted, “a pretty good refrain.” Ah, if only “a pretty good refrain” on a one song a good album did make. No dice. Everything is standard fare here, from the Weiland-esque vocals, to the baby bass lines, to the obvious and expected brute guitar crashing, and the hopeless ballad (“Be Like That,” which, to be fair, isn¹t all that bad). Even “By My Side,” (which is plagued by a poorly heisted riff straight out of “867-5309” or Frank Black’s “Men in Black,”) which has a more or less pleasant thump-rock feel to it, is severely weakened by a chorus that begins with “I can feel my soul is bleeding/will you fly with me this evening.”

Rather not, sorry. Rock, at least as we knew it and loved it, is mostly dead. Let this be the last sullied dirt blanketing the coffin. Now I know what they during shower time in prison.

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