Even three albums later, Three Days Grace’s 2003 debut remains the optimal TDG experience. Its dark and angry tone have yet to be matched in a followup, as lead singer Adam Gontier’s inner demons and outer tormentors manifest themselves here better than any album since. Although Gontier’s struggles with alcohol and drugs didn’t begin until after Three Days Grace was released, there is plenty of angst and animosity to go around in this enjoyable albeit simple debut. Three Days Grace was only a threesome during the time of their debut, making the buzz and moan of every electric guitar even more impressive. This album has its definite flaws however, as Gontier’s vocals are a little rough around the edges and there’s a lack of certain distinctiveness to their sound. But minor complaints aside, Three Days Grace ultimately produced an edgy, aggressive and surprisingly catchy rock album with their self-titled debut.
“Burn” establishes the antagonistic tone of the entire album with heavy electric guitar riffs from Gontier, the deep hum of Brad Walst’s bass and thrashing drums Neil Sanderson, making for a head-banging opening track. Gontier wastes no time in revealing his enmity for the subject of the song as he gruffly declares “I’ll let it show that I’m not always hiding / Come all the way down and watch me burn / I won’t let it show that I’m not always flying / So on the way down, I’ll watch you burn.”
“I Hate Everything About You” is a big reason Three Days Grace can be classified as a catchy album. Despite the fact that every line and note of this song exudes irreconcilable contempt and malice, this standout track is undeniably fun and infectious. Gontier pours out his emotion here, delivering the memorable lines “I hate everything about you / Why do I love you?” of each chorus while being enveloped by rocking guitars and thundering drums. This is easily the best song on the album for its brutal honesty, catchy chorus and entertaining yet simple premise.
“Home” puts this band’s talent for creating remarkable guitar riffs on display, especially in conjunction with the deep boom Sanderson’s drums. This track is oozing with the same outward angst and aggression that typifies the album as Gontier describes a dysfunctional relationship and domestic life. Again, there’s nothing sophisticated or complex about the concepts in play here, but enjoyable hard rock and engagingly pessimistic lyrics make for yet another great experience.
Three Days Grace showed a lot of potential with their self-titled debut and even though it has considerable flaws, is still an aggressive and enjoyable first effort. Gontier displays a knack for writing edgy lyrics pronounced by even edgier vocals which combines well with the blazing guitars and pummeling of drums in the background. The downright negativity and even depressing concepts at play bring the overall experience down at times, but Three Days Grace represents the pinnacle of the band’s sound and unfortunately, unfulfilled potential thanks to their steady decline with the release of each new record. However, fans of Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Sick Puppies, Disturbed, Skillet, Shinedown, 3 Doors Down and Seether will be right at home with Three Days Grace’s debut and hopefully, Transit of Venus will mark a return to the winning hard rock formula of Three Days Grace.
Final Score: 8/10
Rank: 1st (four total albums)
- Just Like You
- I Hate Everything About You
- Let You Down
- Now Or Never
- Born Like This
- Wake Up
- Take Me Under