Like many, Three Days Grace holds a special place in my heart and iTunes Library. Even after Adam Gontier left the band, they retained their unique flair. In general, their songs weren’t flashy or filled with wicked, ear catching music. Rather, the band knew how to communicate something else: genuine emotion.
While I love their old work, I enjoyed the band’s first album with their new lead singer. Human definitely was not like the old Three Days Grace, even if the band returned to the wonderfully gritty sound used on their early albums.
The band has clearly matured since Human. This doesn’t mean they are the same band that wrote classics such as “I Hate Everything About You” or “Pain”. They are different. They are older, more experienced and most importantly, they have a new lead singer. Moreover, bands should evolve and change. I don’t like when bands are judged for trying something new. Musicians aren’t mechanical beings who switch out a few chords and chart different verses. They are creative individuals who want to experiment and tinker with new sounds, new styles and ideas.
Overall, I enjoyed Outsider. The record feels more like older Three Days Grace, which is always welcome. However, it has a new, refreshing tinge. As I mentioned, they opted to employ their trademarked gritty tone. I greatly appreciated this move. I love music that is dark and grimy, so my opinion is a little biased. However, this tone fits well with many of the reoccurring themes featured in their music.
The songs released on Youtube leading up to the album’s release are a great place to start. “I am an Outsider”, “The Mountain” and “Right Left Wrong” are solid tunes. From the opening words of “Right Left Wrong” the band is clearly intent on diving back into their emo roots.
The closing track, “The Abyss” was a treat. It echoes the band’s older material. Lyrically, it tickled the “emo kid” inside of me. Musically, the song chugs on slowly, as Matt Walst delivers moody notes atop the bands’ trademark, crunching sound. As the clock ticks away, the drummer soon leads the way into the climax while Walst screams the final notes.
“Me Against You” touched on the “personal struggle” theme that is so common with the band. What makes this song stand out is the almost dancy music that accompanies the depressing lyrics. By the title alone, “Nothing to Lose but You” sounds like it could have been on the band’s first album. Both the music and lyrics follow suit, as the band embodies their old style.
In the End
Outsider is worth checking out. The band has become a new family that is comfortable stretching their boundaries and revisiting what made them famous. While it isn’t like One-X or Three Days Grace, it is another good entry into an already grand line of albums.