Local Wire

You Asked for It: Third and Maryland

Not too many bands would post a flier for a show where they're not even named, but I thought there was something telling about Third and Maryland's decision to do so here, where they're, presumably, referred to as "LIVE BAND !"

Third and Maryland, a four-piece gener-ock band from Phoenix/Scottsdale/Buckeye/Cave Creek (yes: four band members, four cities) might as well be "LIVE BAND !" for all the distinctiveness demonstrated on the self-titled EP that's the subject of this week's You Asked For It.

The band plays a bass-groove heavy take on the shitty 90s-type alt-rock we review all too frequently here. They're not terrible, but there's not really much there to latch on to.

First, what they do right: the third song, "Nice Things" starts out with a cute little bit of funk-flecked blues and has a brilliant guitar solo that liquidizes as it seeps out over a nifty little groove.

Now, the bad parts: The other two songs, "Central Park" and "Cigarette Song" are no where near as polished, relying on overly-effected singing to create a mood where there is none. Part of the problem is that the vocals throughout aren't that good -- they remind me of the part in "Tomorrow" when the then high school age Silverchair singer Daniel Johns tried to growl like the grown-ups. Even if they were, the shoddy lyrics would sink any chance they had of creating a great moment. There are plenty of examples, but the one that kills me is on the first song, "Central Park" where the singer, Mike, croons:

It was nearly dark
and the sky cried out for sun
in Central Park,
where the freaks and weirdos run,
from themselves,
to another
part of town
which is better than,
the one they live in now,
and the sun,
will cry for the dark.


That's pretty unforgivable for many reasons, and it makes the band sound like a bunch of guys that've never actually been to Central Park, where there really aren't too many freaks and weirdos, upon my last visit. Maybe they'd do better to sing about the parks in their hometown of... Phoenix/Scottsdale/Buckeye/Cave Creek.

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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar