Posts Tagged ‘Third Lung’

30th July 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Third Lung are on fire in 2021, and it’s nothing to do with an inflammation caused by a respiratory disease. Too soon? Bad taste? Perhaps both, but usually, in dark times, humour has served as a vital means of staying sane and maintaining morale. So what’s happened? It isn’t that there’s no humour to be found in anything right now. The UK government should be a source of infinite amusement, but then again, satire seemingly died with irony, and moreover, people are scared – not just of the virus, but of other people. The governments has stoked a culture of division, of us and them, a culture whereby the government has given the green light to booing footballers in their own national team for taking the knee. Five minutes on Facebook reveals that we’re living through a war, not against an invisible enemy, as we’ve been repeatedly told, but a war against one another.

This isn’t all digression: Third Lung’s third single of the year already, which follows ‘I A Fire’ and ‘Hold the Line’ is a song that questions the impact of isolation, and while it reaches beyond the immediate pandemic situation, in asking ‘What is a life on your own?’, and, indeed, who are we when not guided and supported by the people around us we cherish and love, its relevance requires no qualification or explanation here.

Imploring the listener to ‘raise a fist to the sky’, ‘What is a Life?’ is a life-affirming anthem – and when I say anthem, I mean the sound and production is absolutely epiiiiiic. Sometimes, music goes beyond personal taste and simply the enormity of its appeal is just fact. There’s undoubtedly a strong 80s U2 parallel here (and even as someone who’s grown to loathe U2, it’s undeniable that The Joshua Tree was a defining moment in arena rock, which saw a band explode from ‘biggish’ to absolute global dominance.

There are dashes of Kings of Leon in the mix, too – again, another band who hit the stratosphere off the back of an album after plugging away for some time – and these guys are easily of the standard (and with way better lyrics than the crass scribblings of bloody ‘Sex on Fire’, which mostly wanted to be ‘Dancing in the Dark’ but with ‘sex’ in the title to give it a bit more sizzle appeal.

So what’s the verdict? Third Lung are better than Kings of Leon, and every bit as good as the best U2, and ‘What Is A Life?’ is an outstanding single.

AA

Third Lung Artwork

28th May 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

In recent weeks, there have been features in certain quarters of the media on the death of the band, led by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine proclaiming there ‘aren’t any bands any more’, and outlets like The Guardian supporting the claim by noting ‘if you look at the numbers, he’s right’, substantiating this with the statistics: ‘Whichever metric you use, the picture is clear. Right now, there are only nine groups in the UK Top 100 singles, and only one in the Top 40. Two are the Killers and Fleetwood Mac, with songs 17 and 44 years old respectively, while the others are the last UK pop group standing (Little Mix), two four-man bands (Glass Animals, Kings of Leon), two dance groups (Rudimental, Clean Bandit) and two rap units (D-Block Europe, Bad Boy Chiller Crew). There are duos and trios, but made up of solo artists guesting with each other. In Spotify’s Top 50 most-played songs globally right now, there are only three groups (BTS, the Neighbourhood, and the Internet Money rap collective), and only six of the 42 artists on the latest Radio 1 playlist are bands: Wolf Alice, Haim, Royal Blood, Architects, London Grammar and the Snuts.’

But this takes a very narrow perspective. Are the charts representative? No. And it should be born in mind that the same debate was happening five or six years ago on online forums as to why there are no bands in the mainstream anymore. People were bemoaning the fact the only bands left are Coldplay and Mumford & Sons, and how rock’s no longer a mainstream force.

What goes around comes around, and for those of us who have been around a bit longer and who have longer memories, the whole reason grunge was such a thrill was because it broke through at a time when the charts had been utterly swamped with lamecore rap and dreadful dance. But with such a fragmented scene now, does the mainstream represent anything other than itself? Arena-filling acts like The Manic Street Preachers and Placebo won’t trouble the charts not because they don’t have an immense fanbase, but because of how charts are calculated and how music is accessed by different generations.

Third Lung may belong to the new generation of streamers, but stylistically belong to the generation before. Just two months on from ‘I A Fire’, Third Lung give us ‘Hold the Line’ as a further showcase of their immense mass-market appeal. And once again, they’ve got epic chorus bolstered by epic production as their signature, and this one really soars.

The piano that’s as integral a part of the rhythm section as the bass and drums is almost buried under a surge of skyward guitars, and while certain aspects of their sound does hint at (early) Coldplay and turn of the millennium ‘bands’, there’s also a 90s alternative slant that points towards the like of Mansun.

Third Lung remind us that it’s possible to be ‘alternative’ or ‘indie’ and still break the charts without being mainstream – and while that seems unlikely at this moment in time, ‘Hold The Line’ is one of those songs that by rights should be an indie classic while also smashing the charts. In the current climate, they6’re unlikely to touch the charts, but ‘Hold The Line’ is a corker, and Third Lung prove that there really are plenty of bands, and good ones, too.

Artwork

26th March 2021

James Wells

‘Quiet down – you’re just a voice inside my head,’ sings Tom Farrelly, presenting the crossover between the internal / external monologue that we play out to ourselves. Even when sanity threatens to slip and we find ourselves talking to ourselves, we pull ourselves back with a good talking to. Strangely, there is no contradiction here.

Is ‘I A Fire’ as deep and meaningful as it is anthemic, or is it simply a fortunate lyrical stab that hits a certain level of resonance in verses that exist as much as anything to fill the space and provide a bridge from one chorus to the next? Benefit of the doubt says that this is a genuinely soul-searching moment of introspection that’s found its way into one of the biggest, most stadium-friendly tunes I’ve heard from any act, let alone a new one on the scene, in a long time.

Comparisons to the likes of The Killers and U2 are entirely warranted, but ‘I A Fire’ equally calls to mind the early noughties, and the emergence of Coldplay and Keane, before they came to represent the face of drab musical conservatism and instead marled the arrival of a new breed of acts who placed great emphasis on songwriting and the conveyance of emotion. More than anything though, something about this – and not the title – suggests that ‘I A Fire’ could – and should – be Third Lung’s ‘Sex on Fire’, their breakthrough moment. It ought to be.

Third Lung Artwork