Third Eye Blind is more than just 90's nostalgia

I liked Third Eye Blind right from the start. But it was easy to do so in 1998 when they had 3 radio-played superhits and became world famous during the post-grunge era of pop/alt/rock music. Lead singer Stephen Jenkins' spews poetic lyricism with a rap-like cadence on almost every song. It's hard to hear what he says sometimes, and what makes it worse is he almost sounds British (like Oasis, singers of Wonderwall). His often indecipherable sentences add a level of mystique (which historically works so well in rock music) and creates another dimension through which he connects important social commentary to his personal stories (another key element of successful rock music [for me].


Third Eye Blind's deeper cuts have a non-conventional pattern to them, but always contain sections of wildly anthemic sounding climaxes. It's got the perfect mixture of punk/alt-rock and commercial sound, combed with the pleading nature of a writer on a quest for love and meaning in life. Stephan Jenkins high-pitched voice matches perfectly with wailing background guitar riffs, and illustrates the agony of his thoughts on the "important moments" we all experience. I tend to be a very particular individual. Zigging when everyone else is Zagging. Constantly questioning function, motive, love, or what is real vs. what is ephemeral. Stuck in the alore of great music from the past, their bands, their stories and how they answered such questions.


Deep Inside

Third Eye Blind's song lyrics often seem like one giant concept album. It's exactly how I feel throughout my day to day life, where the situations change around me, yet the same unanswered questions still exist.

Jenkins is an expert at creating a setting in his songs - a grungy apartment, a city street, or a light-filled bathroom during an argument with an ex-girlfriend. My two favorite albums are the first self-titled one and third, Out of the Vein. These albums go together thematically, portrayed by seemingly the same character on the cover. They both contain tales of relationship woes, and illustrate the joy and the agony that exists after each failed experiment. It's incredibly similar to my own life, and he sings in a tone of angry frustration, slight depression and constant uncertainty of what to do next. The specifics of his lyrics explain how when these feelings come all at once they leave a man dwelling in a confused state of overwhelming non-existent confidence. I hate the twists and turns of relationships, but if it were too perfect, I'd quit it because it was boring. Being involved with someone off and on and in being left in slightly fucked up gray areas, lets you know that you are real and that you are you. In Motorcycle Drive-By he explains, "Summertime and the wind is blowing outside in Lower Chelsea and I don't know what I'm doing in this city. The sun is always in my eyes. It crashes through the window, and I'm sleeping on the couch, when I came to visit you. That's when I knew, that I could never have you. I knew that before you did. Still I'm the one who's stupid. And there's this burning, like there's always been. I've never been so alone, and I've never been so alive." The song The God Of Wine couples the struggle of relationships with the struggle of substance abuse - as if they are the same thing. In any failed relationship, you never come out the same way you went in. "The God of Wine comes crashing through the headlights of a car, that took you farther than you thought you'd ever want to go. We can't get back again."


P.S. Jenkins looks like Paul Rudd.


#thirdeyeblind #music #punk #poet #90s

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Nick Gianetti

graphic design | photography

gianettin@gmail.com

(c) 2019 Nick Gianetti
Boston, MA
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I'm Nick Gianetti, a local graphic designer, illustrator, photographer and aspiring art director based in Boston, MA.  After earning a master's degree in Architecture at Wentworth, I spent a year freelancing and traveling, learning photography along the way.  Through two years of wayfinding, I landed a job at Zipcar as a graphic designer and in-house photographer