636516259872618661.jpegRecord Label: RCA Records

Release Date: 9th March

Three Days Grace are back with their first album since ‘Human’ 2015, their second with lead vocalist Matt Walst. ‘Human’ produce two number 1 singles in the US rock charts (‘Painkiller’ and ‘I Am Machine’) despite the departure of lead vocalist Adam Gontier which split opinion about whether Three Days Grace should continue on. So I took enormous interest when they announced their sixth full length album to see whether Matt could cement his place as the lead vocalist.

Moody synths, a rarity for 3DG, opens the album with ‘Right Left Wrong’. This reminds me of the last couple of albums with Adam, vocally and lyrically especially. musically is a little stop start, it’s not smooth and fast but instead a bit more jittery but it works well with the lyrics and structure.

Next up is lead single ‘The Mountain’ and it’s no suprise that this one was chosen. It’s heavy, catchy, with uplifting lyrics and great vocal hook in the chorus.

I am an outsider epitomizes what the album is about.  Bassist Brad Walst said “‘Outsider’ represents the journey to find your place. We try to get away from that every once in a while. We do our own thing, and we’re comfortable doing it.” It’s short and sweet coming in at just 2:42 but it’s certainly not the only sub 3 minute track.

The mid section takes the album in a different direction with more pop rock and eletronica elements as opposed to a straight up post-grunge sound.  ‘Infra- red’s’ lyrics doesn’t have as much as depth as most the others but it certainly catchy and it the chorus stuck in my head like Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a sticky bun as Blackadder would probably write.

‘Love Me Or Leave Me; is the most electronic track and definitely the slowest, As someone who isn’t a fan of the electronica which seems to have totally infiltrated modern rock, I found it a bit dull.

‘Strange Days pulls it back and is one you can’t help but stomp your feet too.
Villain I’m Not had the potential to be good but it lacks the bite to be great, like Bruce Banner before he turns into The Hulk.
‘Chasing The First Time; is arguably the ‘rawest’ and feel like old skool 3DG with the lyrics based on addiction, great hooks and a track that will make you jump up and dance.
‘The New Real’ laments over modern’s societies desire for fame above anything else, backed up an upbeat and heavy track, a sure highlight on this album.

The last track, ‘The Abyss’ has a moodier spirit to then the rest of the album. Reminding me more of Breaking Benjamin. It’s slow and dark and feels like it should be in the background of some theatrical drama and it’s the perfect closer.

This album has put Three Days Grace back in it’s proper place. I know that Three Days Grace are going to be inundated with comments about ‘It’s not Adam, therefore it’s crap’ and I understand where they are coming from. As someone who has been a big fan since the first album (#hipsterclaimalert), I know the struggle. Adam was a part of my childhood and formation like he was for so many thousands of others. I was genuinely distraught when Adam left and knew i’d hate whoever dared take ‘his’ place. Then I grew up. I realized two things, firstly, the last couple of albums with Adam weren’t actually that great (least not compared to the first two) and secondly (and probably more importantly) Matt is a talented vocalist who ‘gets’ Three Days Grace and can put in the performance to match.

Rating: 7.5/10

Recommended tracks: The Mountain and The New Real

Outsider is out tomorrow (March 9th)! You can order it from:  http://smarturl.it/3DGOutsider