Theatrical pop-rock outfit, Third Place is set to release their latest EP Rise of Chaos on August 12th. Being a band that prides themselves on their energetic live shows, it should come as no surprise that the somewhat rock opera EP is every bit as upbeat as their performances.
The Montreal-based four-piece consists of Nick Mayer (vocals), Corey Shane Parkinson (bass/vocals), Frank Rainville (guitar/vocals) and Steven Cope (drums). Mayer got the ball rolling in 2005, when the group was a simple garage band, only becoming serious in 2008 when Third Place officially formed. According to Parkinson, “this EP was a very different process than the last album (Lifeland). We ruled a NO BARRIERS process and made sure to go with the flow.” Out of 24 demos, only 6 made the final cut for Rise of Chaos. A hard decision with help from producer Luc Tellier, made even scarier by a change of drummer during writing and recording. However, Third Place is confident in their choices, and is thrilled to have Cope join their lineup.
“Psycho Show” kicks off Rise of Chaos with something of a blend of genres across a broad spectrum. I can hear a hint of country, swelling string accompaniments, and crunchy alt-rock guitar riffs, all capped off with backing vocals that wouldn’t be out of place at a carnival. It feels like a song about embracing your own madness and finding a strange sort of freedom in that release, and it’s all very theatrical.
I love that I can clearly hear each member of the band in the single, “Temptation.” Third Place says “‘Temptation’ isn’t just a banger, It’s relatable… Not everyone is perfect (other than Corey). Everyone has those moments of weakness and temptation.” With haunting melodies and cautionary lyrics, it definitely rides that vibe of never being free from the things that tempt you.
Featuring a groovy beat backed by an equally groovy bass line, “Pretty Evil Liar” is almost reggae in most places, falling back into Third Place’s trademark sound for the chorus. I hear very strong similarities to early Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, and Sum 41 with all the swagger and attitude both musically and lyrically.
With an opening that reminds me of Sugarcult’s “Los Angeles,” “Strike Back” is a stubborn and willful song about the determination to beat staggering odds. This song has less of the band’s theatrical spin and more of a hard rock sound that’s akin to Adelitas Way.
Cope’s opening snare riffs give “Don’t Cry” a feeling of marching to war. With Parkinson’s bass, Third Place slips back into their theatrical rock sound. This motivational song implores me to listen to the inner voice that tells me to remain strong when full of doubt. The closing guitar riffs add an uplifting final touch that turns “Don’t Cry” into a solid anthem.
With a tender piano and string arrangement, “The Other Side” is a soulful number which gives way to a full band swell reminiscent of 80’s rock. As Mayer passionately sings lines like “Can’t go on now, can’t go on this way, I’m alive on the other side,” I find myself very moved by the sweeping crescendos of the music.
From the anthemic “Don’t Cry,” to the infectious energy of “Temptation,” to the poignant “The Other Side,” Rise of Chaos has everything I could ever want in an EP. I can’t wait to see what these guys do next, and I hope a full-length album is soon to follow this wonderful six-track teaser. You can pre-order a copy of Rise of Chaos on iTunes, or stream Third Place’s previous releases on Spotify.