You’ve heard of All Tomorrow’s Parties. How about some of All Tomorrow’s Shadows? It’s the fourth album of The Third Sound, aka Hákon Aðalsteinsson, who is known from Singapore Sling and as a live member of Brian Jonestown Massacre. This LP has a bit of a vintage psych sound, with confident vocals and some strong kraut leanings to boot.
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Here’s a band I could, while standing in the rain waiting for the Northern rail train after the one that was too full for me to get on, learn a lesson from. Patient to a level nearing fantasy, they open their record with “Never Coming Down”, the kind of thing a detective would find a little too slow to sleuthe on. Shaking maracas and wading through slimeball distortion, they make songs like “Meltdown”, where time is a clock without the numbers, just going ‘round and ‘round without consequence. On “Recurring Dream”, they let their music swelter, blurring, twanging and jangling around the edges in an illusion that they’d probably be happy to last forever.
Best in these moments of next-level relaxation, the Third Sound can occasionally generate a first-gear rock song, but the power is in how they make it feel: “For A While” goes for a tiny bit more pace, with its frenzied acoustic strums, while the rhythm section responds with a reassuring calm. By their standards, “Scarecrow” is galloping over the horizon, but I mostly pay attention to its shimmering effects and noisy adlibs, the band repeating a simple vocal ‘n’ guitar hook for a pop song with ghosts in all its cupboards.
They could make a psych rock anthem, if they wanted: closer “No One There” is a perfectly calibrated song doing one better than the Brian Jonestown Massacre of old, its inaugurating drumbeat leading it down a path of hopeless destruction, like the moment in a Western where the protagonist walks, with the audience’s morbid approval, to his untimely end. Simple repetitions and an ability to stake out a good rock song ‘til its bitter end: it’s what makes the Third Sound a very good band.
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- All Tomorrow’s Shadows by The Third Sound
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