Monday, 6 November 2017

Three Days Dark - Somewhere a Band Plays, album review

Ruling in its Roots

This has so many excellent touchstones, for example Spirit with the beautiful The Slow Flow, and at times on vocal it is Bowie yet also Jim Morrison in a quiet moment.

This is by Essex/English / English/Essex multi-instrumentalist Trent Halliday. The opening two tracks actually have his voice slightly distorted, and the sound is more Stone Roses in terms of era so this isn’t a complete immersion in the 60s/70s. Indeed, second How’s It Gonna Happen breaks into some pretty harmony so the genre/range is a shifting one.

In third Breaking the Day I hear Love and Clear Light but not specifically and more that mid-sixties sound. Fifth So Much to Remember is the obvious ‘Bowie’ track, though this too has baroque elements, the organ and guitar more Electric Prunes. I suppose this is a bit of a guessing game, but the echoes are cleverly and lovingly done, down to the Tyrannosaurus Rex percussion within the same track. Perhaps I am delving too deep. But Trent has apparently studied Ethnomusicology, so when I hear Incredible String Band in Night Garden I think I’m tapping into some of that academic payback.

The more space-music element of his study is manifested in the psychedelia of Lemon Air, a spaced-out gem, wings on the loose a metaphor for something far out. Is it Nick Cave or Morrison on Places Lost to Themselves? This is the jazz track, a muted horn intoning something of Miles. There is a fine instrumental boiling in Kettle.

This excellent eclectic album closes on the pretty Root and Rule, an orchestral sweep of sound that moves from its beautiful strings to a grumble of horn and what sounds like applause. Then it slows to sweet acoustic guitar with a crackling in the background which is the waiting other.

This is available digitally for £5 and £6 as a cd here which is quite ridiculous so you should order now.

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