Most people will think the “Dammit! Not another rap-metal band!” that most of us think when faced with a band like 3rd Strike. It is not until we listen that we notice the absence of self-hyping and testosterone driven retardation that has plagued this genre since Faith No More called it quits.
3rd Strike actually has something to say. They express a true knowledge of street life and a positive message based in redemption.
Vocalist Jim Korthe has lived the life most people would associate with a gangsta rapper. He has been through gangs, jail and most other hardships only to find an outlet and a new lease on life. Rather than glorifying the lifestyle and leading the youth to the same mistakes, Korthe takes the time to illustrate the loneliness of gang life and the pain associated with it.
The music has a hard edge while incorporating some nice effects in the breaks. There are also some subtle classical overtones on assorted tracks such as “Breathe It Out.” The menacing lyrics and vocal tones call attention to Korthe’s desire to move on from his past life and make his way forward.
With the addition of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” which Korthe added a verse to, the band is able to pay tribute to a forefather of hard rock and give their take on the song.
For a fresh look at rap-metal with a message beyond hyping or feeling sorry for oneself, this is the record for you.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.