Third Harmonic Distortion

Third Harmonic Distortion

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Sift through an endless pile of new CDs. You come in search of that heretofore unknown band that will jump out of your speakers. Amidst the OKs, nice-tries, maybe-laters, totally-mediocres, and just-plain-awfuls, Third Harmonic Distortion springs right out. Without breaking new ground, this Baltimore foursome believes that crunching, weighty post-punk rock can still be propulsive and, despite the heavy pound, soaring. Songs such as "Last Song From a Sinking Ship" and "Damn the Wrinkly Rug" contain lead guitar parts that form mighty countermelodies of their own, with a clarity and edge that hits one in the gut. Like a cross between Squirrel Bait, Moving Targets, Bloodsport, Proletariat, and early Adolescents, with a little Sebadoh, those guitars keep coming at you, wonderfully, magically, climbing up your back, rushing down your face like a shower, lifting you off your chair. (A reinvented, loud cover of Talking Heads' 1977 classic "Psycho Killer" is the CD's "hidden track," and also shows knowledge, taste, and a larger periscope than far too many such groups.) THD's hooks thus stab like a dozen needles, while the considerable rhythm section and the melodically shouted vocals add to the controlled and crispy pummeling. This band is a comer. Finally!

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