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Three Dimensional Tanx - Three Dimensional Tanx

  by Adrian Janes

published: 13 / 6 / 2014

Three Dimensional Tanx - Three Dimensional Tanx
Label: Sunstone Records
Format: CD


Energetic and often impressive fusion of punk and psychedelia on debut album from Three Dimensional Tanx, who perhaps work best of all in a live context

Three Dimensional Tanx attempt a fusion of punk and psychedelia, and do so with rather more success than some bands have achieved. Although they have reportedly existed in some form for ten years, this appears to be their debut album. But at least this has given them the time to forge their sound. On several tracks, such as ‘I Am Go’, ’Loose Id Syd’ and ‘Here Come the Flies’, it is dominated by repetitive phrases from a Philicorda organ (like the bright, piercing notes of a Farfisa, rather than the depth of a Hammond), lashings of wah-wah and energetic drumming. The keyboards are played effectively by Spacey (for some reason, only nicknames or first names are volunteered), who is also the lead vocalist - however he is clearly not the US actor moonlighting, as this Spacey’s voice unfortunately comes over much of the time like a reedier Liam Gallagher. This is a pity, as even in a studio the band are able to cook up a pretty vigorous groove, especially on ‘King of the Country’, where organ, bass and drums lock together while a raw guitar is let loose. You can almost see the hippies digging it in the Avalon Ballroom. In a more relaxed mode, the seven minutes plus of ‘Caterpillar’ moves from a vaguely Indian introduction of tabla and sitar to break into a crisp beat, supporting the interplay of wah-wah and synth and setting up something of a Happy Mondays or Stone Roses feel. One of the best characteristics of psychedelic bands, past or present, is the willingness to try unusual instruments and create varied musical textures. So, a harp introduces and also adorns the fade-out of ‘Backwards Telescope’, on which the organ intriguingly hints at an inner Manzarek. ’Hermaphrodite’s Child’ sets a strongly strummed guitar against a xylophone and harmony vocals, while continuing with the band name puns. ‘Canned Beat’ sets off at high speed, touches of melodica and a theremin-like synth solo also helping to distract from the wavering vocals that could make the most implacable opponent of Auto-Tune reconsider their stance. Instrumental ‘Clark’s Momentum’ is for at least half of its length something of an experiment, and a largely successful one, in its divergence from the rest of the album.The primitive drum machine intro evolves into snare shots and a more tom tom-based rhythm, combining with a piano motif that continues Steve Reich-style, while synth, organ and guitar take it in turns to take off. A bit disappointingly, about half-way through the pace picks up and the by now almost inevitable guitar freak-out begins. Carrying something of a reputation for impressive live performance, this recurring tendency probably works best in that setting. In the end, although this album shows the band’s energy and musical ability, I can’t help but feel that you have to be there watching them to really get what they’re about. Others may find that the CD alone is enough to transport them.

Track Listing:-
1 I Am Go
2 Loose Id Syd

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