Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind

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About Third Eye Blind

When Third Eye Blind dropped “Semi-Charmed Life” in 1997, the earworm chorus and scrappy melody sounded downright fresh. Along with Weezer and The Presidents of the United States of America, the San Francisco outfit signaled a new breed of alt-rock, one eschewing grunge’s bludgeoning heaviness and brooding sincerity for power-pop hooks and lyrics capable of twisting ironic humor and heartfelt sincerity into a pretzel. A good deal of the credit goes to vocalist Stephan Jenkins, a nuanced lyricist who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in English literature before co-founding the band in 1993. “Semi-Charmed Life” on its face sounds lighthearted; a close listen, however, reveals Jenkins addressing issues of addiction and existential insecurity. Another prime example of the band’s deceptive songcraft arrived in the form of “Never Let You Go,” which anchored Third Eye Blind’s second album, 1999’s Blue: The hit single wears its Cars influences proudly on its sleeve while the singer cleverly blurs the lines between heartfelt love and creepy obsession. On 2003’s Out of the Vein, which plays out like a bummer breakup album, Jenkins can’t help but insert the cheeky rocker “Crystal Baller,” on which he sounds both extremely heartbroken and utterly hilarious. It’s this very quality—an ability to laugh in the face of life’s succession of tragedies—that has helped Third Eye Blind retain such a doggedly loyal fanbase well into the 21st century. The 2019 album Screamer may find the band soaking up the kids’ edgy synthesizers and indie-rock moves, but deep down, the humor, sass, and smarts therein are quintessential Third Eye Blind.

San Francisco, CA, United States

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