Friday, October 1, 2010

Third Class Official Website.

Our lyrics, press and music videos, as well as discography, are all available at Check it out!

"Sweet Amorous Music" (music review by Lee Boyle)

Sweet Amorous Music

The Sweet AM is a southern-rock style band with an album which has recently turned up in Indie Wax Records in Youngstown, Ohio. The album is entitled West. The band has a very themed sound and well-executed harmonies present in most of their works. Also frequent in most songs are love lyrics which, in listening formally to the album, seem to address the same love interest in each track. We’ve all heard albums which seem to be dedicated to one relationship, one passion or one idea. With this mindset, West speaks to a certain mood. It is the kind of album which plays while a listener sits on a porch during sunset. It is played in the car while driving over rolling hills. It is played in the background while two people rekindle in a coffee shop, in a banquet hall when one sits in the corner with no partner for a dance. The album is romantic and sad.
Sporting the ethics of modern country music from the last couple decades, The Sweet AM comes off a bit quirky because of an abundant application of background vocals and rhythmically-oriented placement of lyrics. The traditional implementation of highlights expresses an unexpected edge. Many of the pretty guitar licks and background melodies do not smooth over the tracks like might have been intended. Instead, there is a sound in the singer’s voice which reminds of Dog’s Eye View, Barenaked Ladies or Crash Test Dummies. The album doesn’t necessarily pigeonhole this band into a dated, 1990s sound as much as it takes a sincere, open-ended recording style from the era and does something modern with it. This modernization of this sound is most present in the track, “Moon And Chicken.” The darkly love-ridden croons of Soul Asylum or Hootie And The Blowfish are saddled down and applied to a more dance-friendly sound. A trace of roughness is preserved, but is not overdone; no dramatic tangents or contrived moments of soulfulness.

Musicianship sharp, lyrics straightforward, atmosphere well-themed, The Sweet AM teaches the listener the value of the twanged, sad love song. West is instantly canonized in the collection of southern rock which beckons the heart. Check it out if you are a craving a mindset which is temporarily lost in today’s music. The album is available on iTunes and at Indie Wax.

-Lee Boyle

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Check out this sweet sketch that Pepe of Third Class made!

New, Revised Band Bio

Third Class began as a product of three feral “children” who were adopted by kind parents and given instruments but no musical instruction. Over one hundred and twelve years of what might be called practice – but which also could be called the reinvention of music – the three wild children, locked in a padded room, broke guitar strings and keyboards and drumheads, rebuilding and innovating the tools of their craft until the instruments they used had no hope of being readily recognizable to modern musicians but rather seemed like weapons and torture devices from the future. At first, the music they made with their sci-fi nuitars and kianos was partially recognizable as noise, though would never be categorized as music, at least not by humans. However, over a period of thirty-seven decades, the children, who had since grown into young “men” and had left their padded room, developed a musical styling which was not wholly unbearable to others. In fact, with time and repeated exposure, some even began to enjoy the music which those who later became known as Third Class produced.

But, seriously, the band formed in 1999 in East Palestine, Ohio where brothers, Lee and Jack Boyle, with friend, Pepe Parish, played their first show in a living room. In the years to come, they performed at Cedars Lounge and other venues in Youngstown, Ohio’s general area, as well as many basement, living room and barn shows, and self-recorded four demo albums (now out of print) at the Boyle Residence. They were featured on the local NBC News while playing their first “battle of the bands” competition and received airplay on a program called Backyard Bands on Youngstown’s 98.9 FM. They also received a small review in The Morning Journal in East Palestine for their performance at a high school talent show. In 2004, the band played the first Nouveau Rock Festival, an indie-music showcase hosted by locals, The Zou, in Youngstown. In 2005, Third Class embarked on a modest tour to pass out demos and perform in New York City and in Long Island, New York. They received interviews published in Youngstown’s The Jambar which revered the band for a “fierce independent streak.” Then, in 2006, the band played shows in Akron, Wooster, Bowling Green and Kent, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Louisville, Kentucky. A couple months after an interview on Kent State University’s Black Squirrel Radio online, Third Class recorded their first studio album, Chloe’s Epitaph Is Chloe, at Ampreon Recorder with renowned Youngstown engineer and musician, Pete Drivere. Youngstown’s The Walruss called the album “an attempt to classify [an] idiosyncratic sound” and Youngstown’s The Vindicator deemed Third Class “a band to be reckoned with in Northeast Ohio.” To promote the album, the band played numerous Ohio shows, such as in Cleveland, Youngstown and Alliance, Ohio as well as in Philadelphia, Sharon and Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky. The band received airplay from 93.3’s The Homegrown Show in Youngstown and Ruckus Radio online, as well as write-ups in The Salem News in Salem, Ohio and Youngstown’s In 2009, Third Class released their second studio album, The Red Wheelbarrow, recorded at Ampreon, which The Voice of Wooster, Ohio called “an intellectual pursuit.” Write-ups followed from Youngstown’s, The Vindicator,,, The Salem News and Third Class received airplay from unsigned-artist radio stations online, Westsidewill Radio and JFL: The Mixx, and an online pod cast interview by Saw Kick Media of Cleveland, Ohio. During the same period of time, Jack’s poetry was published in The Salt River Review online and he was accepted into graduate school with a teaching assistantship. Lee’s poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Off The Coast in Robbinston, Maine, Abbey in Columbia, Maryland, Leveler online and Advocate in Prattsville, New York. Third Class proceeded to play shows in their regular routes and included shows in Geneva-On-The-Lake, Columbus and Athens, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By 2010, Third Class’ albums were available in a variety of places including online stores such as iTunes, Napster, and CDBaby. Local stores, Indie Wax in Youngstown, Dave’s Music Mine in Pittsburgh, Square Records in Akron, Turn-Up Records and Spin-More Records in Kent, Ohio, started carrying the albums. Dyno Records in Newburyport, Massachusetts and Madgirl World in Portland, Maine gave away free copies of the albums and the band had played their seventh consecutive Nouveau Rock Festival in Youngstown. In 2010, Third Class began premiering newer songs at local venues such as The Lemon Grove and Cedars Lounge in Youngstown, as well as The Black Cherry in Toledo, Ohio and Boney’s Nite Club in Eastpointe, Michigan. They also received airplay on online radio station Rukus Radio and had their music featured in a play, entitled Love Song, performed in Youngstown State University’s theatre.

Third Class’ style is best-described as indie pop or alternative rock. The trio wields a 5-piece drum set with a boxy sound, a four-string bass guitar tuned to the notes F, A, C and high F, a cheap keyboard and a 2-string guitar tuned to a mid-range C and G. The band rotates instruments, oftentimes with Lee on the keyboard, or guitar, and lead vocals and with Jack and Pepe taking turns on drums, bass and back-up vocals. The lyrics are often written in a stream-of-consciousness style with crooning vocals which go frequently out of Lee’s comfortable range. The keyboard licks are reminiscent of piano in up-tempo musicals. The drums are an undulation of tempo and complex patterns. The bass is slippery and usually distorted. The guitar plays mostly a twang of power chords.

New Music Video by Third Class

Lee Boyle of Third Class is featured in their new music video for the song, "Laugh And Cry." The song is from their 2009 album, The Red Wheelbarrow and is available online on iTunes and Details on Enjoy:

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Diversity In Tiger Style" (music review by Lee Boyle)

Diversity In Tiger Style

The Youngstown, Ohio-based band, Tigerstyle, comes at the listener from collective angles. So many styles are packed into one collection of songs that there is no other way to listen to the band but from start to finish.
Their new release, Face EP, also known as TigerBath EP, is a blank-labeled compact disc which the band has been giving away for no charge, a signification that the music is what matters most. Over time, the formats of one’s favorite albums may change, but their favorite songs live on forever, regardless of any visual style of the musician. Face EP gives the local listener a clean slate. It is a disc to put in their car stereo, to give their full attention to. There are no strings attached. The listener knows the band is called Tigerstyle and nothing of what’s to come to their ears.
When beginning the EP, one might think of the atmospheric beginnings of some tracks of famed artists such as Bright Eyes or The Mars Volta. As one fiddles with the volume knob, a noise oriented track, slowly fades into consciousness. The track sets a laid-back mood, a mood soon to be broken.
Once in the midst of the EP, ramping up from ambient noise to a subtle integration of rhythm and melody, the listener realizes they are in the presence of a rock and roll band. It is as if Tigerstyle soothed us at the beginning only to rock us that much harder when the guitar comes in over the churning bass and drums. The lyrics are brief, the solos are long, the rhythm and bass notes go on their own tangents. Anyone who is a fan of classic rock or hard rock will get their kicks with this band, although Tigerstyle is neither. They cannot be categorized with a genre. Fusion, which they refer to themselves as, is the best anyone can conclude. They have a mix of funk, rock, atmosphere, blues, jazz and much more. One moment, they are Pink Floyd-esque, the next moment is an echo of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Santana, and the next there is some Andrew Bird-like whistling.
Overall, Face EP, is a true adventure. Even if you are not enthralled at the end, you’ve received an education on how to draw attention in music. The band takes you on a journey with them, sneaking up and capturing you with the first moment of the EP in order to make sure you will be committed to the rest of the ranging spectrum of material. If you want variety, Tiger Style is for you. The album is available at their shows and at Indie Wax Records in Youngstown, Ohio.

-Lee Boyle

"Ceiling God" (poem by Lee Boyle)

*This poem was published in the poetry journal, Abbey, in 2010.

Ceiling God

If god lived in the ceiling, like I thought
when I was young, he was probably
spying on me that time when I laid on the neon green floor
in my apartment in a small town,
when I was 21.
He must have silently chuckled
as my brother and I, mesmerized,
gazed up at the ceiling fan,
watching it spin
until it looked like
it was reversed, like a wheel,
or until we felt like
we were spinning,
we were
watching the fan from
above as it sat below, connected
to the floor, deeming us
the new ceiling gods, the new spies, spying
on a motionless, propeller-like creature from
our mysterious, green perch in a carpeted heaven.

I wonder if god played along
on another day farther in the past, when I was
even younger, when my brother and I
did semi headstands at 3 and 5 years old,
straining our legs toward the ceiling tiles
as our bent necks angled our heads
at a view of the ceiling which looked
like a floor, a new world of tiled ground.
And we were the place’s odd inhabitants
who never got to touch the dusty planet’s land,
cursed to remain a hovering species
in our sky, our carpeted ceiling that magnetized
our backs to it, our bodies like
burrs in faded foliage of a red-carpeted sky.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two Documentaries You Should Watch

Based on their two studio albums, we, the band, home-made two documentaries. The first, "Chloe's Epitaph Is Chloe: The Roc Doc," is a series of self-interviews where we explain the meanings behind the songs of the 2006 studio album for the two people that would ever care to watch and learn about the lyrics. The second film, "The Making Of The Red Wheelbarrow," is the band documenting the making of the second studio album. The members travel with their Youngstown, Ohio friends, The Zou, to Chicago, Illinois to master the album after recording in Youngstown with Ampreon Recorder; the notorious Pete Drivere (Dead Beat Poets, Pete Drivere And The Pretty Demons, The Infidels) at the helm of the album's sound. The second documentary is a bit more interesting.:

Chloe's Epitaph Is Chloe (The Rock Doc)

Third Class | MySpace Music Videos

The Making Of The Red Wheelbarrow

Third Class | MySpace Music Videos

Low Budget Music Videos

During the releases of our first two studio albums, Chloe's Epitaph Is Chloe (2006) and The Red Wheelbarrow (2009), we followed up the albums with some home-made music videos. They were all directed and shot by us, the band with exceptions of current and former members of Youngstown colleagues, The Zou, and our youngest brother, Steve Boyle who is also a Youngstown musician. Watch them and see which ones catch your fancy.

Friday, February 5, 2010

September & November 2009 Update

- (September 2009) Lee Boyle of Third Class was interviewed by Read the interview here. Third Class released a new music video for the song "Great Days" off their album The Red Wheelbarrow. Watch it here. Band member, Jack Boyle, has a poem published in The Salt River Review. See the poetry magazine website here.

- (November 2009) The band is working on new material. With one new song written in the summer of 2009, entitled "Heaven And Ice Cream," the band has recently come up with two more new tunes which they recently premiered at a show in Kent, Ohio at a venue called The Outpost on November 6th. These two new songs are "12 And 9" and "Kitty-Cat Eyes." This first public performance of "Kitty-Cat Eyes" can be seen here. Third Class released a new music video for the song "Office Supplies" off their album The Red Wheelbarrow. Watch it here.