3rd Ear Experience - Incredible Good Fortune (2014)
With a diverse set of musical backgrounds, the six members of 3rd Ear Experience have really blended their abilities in an impressive fashion on their third and latest album, Incredible Good Fortune. Progressive without getting too stiff, psychedelic without wandering too far from the core melodies, and spacy without losing its footing, the new album is a big chunk of finely-honed song-writing and unexpected, sparkling touches of embellishment. At over an hour of expansive musical soaring, there's plenty of opportunities for them to show off their more-than-capable instrumental flights of fancy, with the guitars blasting off and leaving ringing waves of feedback in its wake as the drums, bass and keyboards meld together in some tasty fusion. The guest appearance of five other musicians helps the band ensure a diversity of thought going into the songs, though it all flows together so smoothly that it can be a little difficult to pick out when someone comes in or departs.
Despite its run-time, the band has the stones to break it down into only five songs, letting each one have free rein to stretch out as long as needed to complete the cosmic wanderings. The song titles land somewhere between whimsical and mysterious, matching up nicely with the cover art by vocalist/synthesist Amritakripa, with a track-list of “Tools”, “One”, “Parsley”, “White Bee”, and “Shaman's Dream”. Each of the songs has its own distinct mood, with a few similarities in the essential instrumentation and attitude of the band to link them together; “Tools”, for example, as the opening song, pulls a more traditional rock approach to some of its aspects than the swimming-through-space sound of “One”, though they share swooping synthesizer, clean harmonizations, and a great deal of ambition.
If you've got fondness for either prog or psychedelic (or just space rock in general), do yourself a favor and check out this album as soon as you can, as it takes some of the best aspects of each, and just works to push them as far upwards as the band can go. Thanks to a deal with Space Rock Productions, this album will be available on vinyl, though I suspect it will be one you'll want to scramble for if you expect to actually get your hands on a copy. In any event, if you want to enjoy some spectacularly lush and inventive psychedelic soundscapes, make it a point to familiarize yourself with this album.
For Fans Of; Domadora, The Human Instinct, early Porcupine Tree, Battles, Amish Rake Fight