Thirty-Six Thirty
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Thirty-Six Thirty


Band Alternative Rock


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"Thirty-Six Thirty “Angry at the World”Thirty-Six Thirty “Angry at the World”"

The 1980s went down in history as a decade that had an abundance of wildly fun music: fun new wave and synth-pop, fun dance music, fun pop-metal hair bands. But there was more to the 1980s than Cyndi Lauper singing “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Madonna singing “Material Girl” or Toni Basil singing “Mickey.” 1980s music had a darker side as well; New Order were hell-bent for gloom and doom during the 1980s, and hip-hoppers like Ice-T, N.W.A, Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy and KRS-1 addressed a long list of social and political problems. That darker side of the 1980s is what Thirty-Six Thirty connect with on their debut album, Angry at the World. With a title like Angry at the World, one might assume that Thirty-Six Thirty are a retro-punk band or a hardcore band. But on this 2010 release, Thirty-Six Thirty (who hail from Warrington, Bucks County in the Philadelphia suburbs) offer a very melodic and digestible approach to pop-rock. When it comes to melodies, beats and hooks, it is impossible to miss the 1980s fixation that Thirty-Six Thirty bring to Angry at the World. But instead of being nostalgic for the over-the-top escapism and fun frivolity that characterized a lot of 1980s music, Thirty-Six Thirty combine those 1980s influences with a big dose of 1990s angst.

Angry at the World gets off to a depressing start with the opener “Zebras,” which includes a fake news report about a 17-year-old high school student who was brutally beaten while at least 13 other students just stood by and watched. But Angry at the World isn’t an overly sociopolitical album; most of Thirty-Six Thirty’s songs are about romantic disillusionment, not social ills. And the Pennsylvanians bring a world-weary outlook to melancholy offerings such as “The Darkness,” “Not Forever,” “Something Better to Do” and the single “Grumpy Old Man.” When lead vocalist Kimberly Kreitz Keyes sings about romantic relationships, she usually arrives at the conclusion that they are destined to end badly. There is no overlooking the fact that Angry at the World is a decidedly gloomy album, but the gloominess tends to come from the lyrics more than the melodies. On a melodic and rhythmic level, Keyes and her colleagues obviously long for the hookiness of the 1980s; the fact that the lyrics are so full of angst, disappointment and cynicism doesn’t mean that the melodies and beats aren’t catchy.

Take “My Intentions,” for example. The tune offers a bright, infectious, 1980s-like pop-rock groove, but the lyrics exemplify the band’s less-than-rosy outlook. When Keyes sings, “I try to do right/It always comes out wrong,” listeners might feel as though they are listening to a more pessimistic version of 10,000 Maniacs. And even when Thirty-Six Thirty have a dark melody to go with the dark lyrics, they are still catchy.
“Bend or Break” and “Denial” combine gloomy lyrics with gloomy melodies, but that doesn’t mean that the tunes aren’t catchy and easy to absorb.

The rueful “I Didn’t Know” combines a shoegazer-ish haziness with hints of early 1960s post-doo wop, and one is reminded a bit of the darker songs that came from the girl groups of the 1960s (such as the Shangri-Las’ 1964 hit “Leader of the Pack”). The tune has a sweet quality, although that sweetness doesn’t make “I Didn’t Know” any less brooding.

This album isn’t without its flaws. The production could have been better, and at times, Keyes doesn’t deliver her lead vocals as convincingly as she should. Nonetheless, the material on Angry at the World is generally decent (not earth-shattering, but decent). And despite its shortcomings, Angry at the World has enough going for it to make the listener want to keep an eye on Thirty-Six Thirty and see what they come up with in the future.

Review by Alex Henderson
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
- Review You


The Life and Death of Love in America - LP 2009
Angry at the World - LP 2010
Control Issues - 2013



Thirty-Six Thirty, an original alternative rock band, comes to you from Bucks County PA. Originally formed as a studio project by a husband and wife team the band released its first album “Angry at the World” in 2010. The group quickly expanded and like most bands experienced some growing pains along the way.
Although Thirty-Six Thirty’s music is clearly influenced by groups like Metric, the Cure, Paramore, Linkin Park, Green Day, and Pink, the band sounds profoundly different. Falling in the new wave, post modern, and indie bands categories, Thirty-Six Thirty incorporates driving bass lines as a foundation for emotional vocals and layered atmospheric guitar lines held together by solid percussion.
What really separates the band from many other groups is their approach to lyrics which pick up on both, contemporary social themes and personal life experiences, equally. With their second album “Control Issues” finished, Thirty-Six Thirty is looking forward to taking the stage and share their music with audiences everywhere.