Saturday 29 December 2012

Three Second Kiss - Tastyville

Album review by

Considering they've been making records since the mid-nineties, you'd think we'd be a little more familiar with Three Second Kiss by now. They may be from Bologna in Italy and therefore slightly off our UK-based radar, but with a couple of albums produced by Steve Albini, a US tour supporting noise-rock legends Shellac and an appearance at All Tomorrow's Parties to their name we can't help but feel a little bit off the ball here. Still, there's a brand new album available so we can see if we've been missing out on anything important over the last decade and a half and whether or not some backtracking is required to investigate the band further. They must be doing something right to have such staying power.

The experimental alt-rock made by this trio will instantly let you know why Shellac have taken them under their wing, these guys can do power, they can do atmosphere, they know when to put their foot down and when enough is enough. As such 'Tastyville' is a great listen, especially for anyone who fell for the US college-rock and grunge scenes of 20-odd years ago (is it really that long?!). Three Second Kiss have a penchant for unusual song structures, broken, stuttering beats and occasional bursts of cutting guitar. All of this is offset excellently with melody and with less muddy guitars, it's possibly 'A Catastrophe Outside' that sums them up best, combining all those elements with a dose of math-rock.

What's really striking about, for example, 'Maya', is that they have a sound that will appeal to fans of hardcore and maybe even metal, but at the same time they're devoid of any mindless crunching that lovers of indie/alternative/experimental bands can find so brainlessly off-putting. I guess in that respect you could put them alongside bands such as Les Savy Fav or even Fucked Up. 'Vampirized' seems possessed by the ghost of John Bonham and it's not the only time they make your mind flash back to the 60s and 70s; they even dabble with blues on 'Don't Dirty My Heart'. So have we been missing out on anything over all these years? As the spidery 'Mood Red' clunks to a halt I think the answer is an emphatic 'yes'.

Three Second Kiss' website

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