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Upstate New York’s The Thirds are gearing up for the release of their first EP, Dork Matter, a stylistic follow-up to their 2016 debut full-length 60/60 Vision. There’s the usual influences of MGMT and Weezer which are often typical in indie rock, but the band also embraces certain shades of classic rock, from the big drums of Led Zeppelin to the guitar sound of late period Beatles. The lo-fi aesthetic undercuts any pretension, but underneath the silliness and sludge, a serious attitude toward pop craftsmanship persists and the songs are stronger in construction than the sheen of obfuscation otherwise suggests.
“Say A Few” is perhaps even more of a Weezer song than anything Rivers Cuomo has ever written, and its self-deprecating themes of failure and worthlessness essentially make it an anthem about impostor syndrome. Singing of anxiety and regrets, the rest of the EP treads similar territory, and it creates some fantastic irony on “Maybe,” a song that has some otherwise very sunny Beach Boys melodies. Dork Matter isn’t a great leap forward for The Thirds, but it makes the case once again that they are very capable of writing subtly mature pop with a brand of confessional lyricism rare in their scene. If they will follow these inclinations further in their next release, only time can tell.