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ALBUM OF THE MONTH
ST
Owlcrusher
Full Review and Video Clip
Rotation Radar
"Mono Sapiens"
by National Space Agency
Post-metal, Space rock
Sound Preview Lab
Sound Preview Lab
On The Road
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Third Ear Experience
(Incredible Good Fortune)
2014
Staff Rating: Crank this to 9.5 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Genre:
Atmospheric rock
Sounds Like:
Tool, King Crimson, Farflung
#2 ALBUM OF 2014
The third release from 3rd Ear Experience does not include the prowess of the Dug Pinnick on lead vocals like their 2013 release Boi.  Don't let that curb your enthusiasm though. Incredible Good Fortune takes things to even more impressive levels. The album offers even more detail and dark underpinnings. Picture a hot hi-tech growth stock on the steady incline. 3rd Ear is maturing and showing more chemistry with each effort. The band appears to be hard at work with steady releases three years in a row. Even more impressively, the album was recorded live in the Furst Wurld Performance and Art Gallery in the Mojave desert. While this album bleeds influence from the progressive musical savants of Tool, they seem to have an inclination of being more prolific and perhaps will not keep us waiting every 5 to 7 years. There is no question that Tool would be flattered by the subtle homage that 3rd Ear places in drips and drabs throughout the album. Take this in tandem with additional influences by the great King Crimson and that should really get your juices flowing.

The first track (coincidentally entitled "Tools") slashes hints of 10,000 days with vibrant guitar-work and atmospheric scenery. The song elicits a cool breezy effect on the listener with its slow build and lofty sound.  At about the four minute mark a great guitar solo ensues. The solo last about 2 to 3 minutes and is inspiring introducing many different textures and layers. The emergence of the horn at 9:49 become an important structure to this song; as it injects a trippy, jazzy element. Top that off with some creeping organ and this jam session is anything but repetitive.

The second track entitled, "One" commences with meditative (massage like) trance really infusing some blood pressure dropping spacial work. At about the three minute mark, the song begins to spiral out into space rock jam territory. Unlike many other jam bands, 3rd Ear is captivating and refreshing. They have a knack with their song structure in avoiding repetition keeping the listener engaged throughout. Lead singer Robby Rob's (of Tribe After Tribe fame) voice on this track reminds us of the Black Angels melding echo and distortion to really set a distinct mood. The percussion section on the album is exceptional causing you to pause and think of Neil Pert and Danny Carey. 'One' is capped off at about the 16 minute minute mark with some monk-like chanting and shaman influences. Really bringing things down very softly offering up a cooling period for the listener. Truly an epic tune. Don't let the simplicity and common title 'One' dissuade you.

"Parsley" the third track off the album, sounds like it's the sequel to Tools 10,000 Days. We do not mean that in a negative way as they clearly take a style in a unique way and interesting angle. Sprinkle in some Tuatara along with exotic chanting swirling around a consistent sharp guitar melody. Don't ask us why, but we find the title of this song brilliant and unique. In addition, Amritakripa's synthesizer work and vocals are stunning throughout this song (and the album). We have been following her works and have only good things to say.

"White Bee," the fourth track, starts us off with some creepy baseline work melding into Amritakripa's beautiful spoken word. Running only 8 minutes, could this be the most radio friendly song on the album? Not sure and frankly we don't care. Although, we do find some commercial appeal in the reoccurring theme of the "final rose " lyrics throughout. This is a great track and although the shortest, could be the most diverse on the album.

The last track "Shaman's Dream" is solid, although a little on the repetitive side. This song features some very odd and innovative vocals. Very unique use of vocals upon vocals and steady bass-lines throughout. Overall the song keeps our attention and we strongly encourage you to not give up on this one. It will grow on you.

While the last track may not over-excite some listeners, the entire body of work in Incredible Good Fortune should. 3rd Ear Experience has developed a very special formula that will continue to perk many ears and turn many heads. We are happy to have stumbled upon them and strongly encourage expanding your library with a trio CD pack of 3rd Ear.

Track Listing:
1.Tools (19:33)
2. One (18:08)
3. Parsley (17:32)
4. White Bee (8:12)
5. Shaman's Dream (11:30)
Total Time:75:55

Musicians:
Amritakripa – Synthesizers, Voice
Robbi Robb – Guitars, Voice
Jorge Bassman – Bass guitars
Erik Mouness – Drums, Percussion
Eric Ryan – Guitars
Alan Swanson – Keyboards

Guests:
John Whoolilurie – Saxophone
Billy Shire – Mouth Organ
Roger Arnold – Flute
Bobby Moses Nichols - Guitar
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