Three for Silver “The Way We Burn” (Independent 2017)

Sometimes a style is clear, defined and worn heartily on the sleeve for all to see. Other times a musical style can be subtle, nuanced and gently weaving in and out of tradition and innovation. Sometimes, a style can be mashed merrily and emerge from the speaker like a wet slap in your earholes before assaulting your brain in ways that can make you alternately plead for mercy and beg for more. Meet Three For Silver and their post-apocalyptic celebration of chaos and charm.

Comparisons are inevitable, even in an album as enjoyably daring as this one and for most people the name that will spring to mind is Tom Waits. The distinctive voice that growls into life on the first track of this album is nothing short of a tribute to the hall of famer, though often drifting more towards James Hetfield of Metallica in its more enthused moments. Contrasting spectacularly with this is Willo Sertain’s delightful purr that provides soothing counterpoint and creates a space in genre for this record to sit in alone. The instrumentation ranges from dirty and industrial yet comfortingly acoustic strums and picks on This Time Tomorrow to the ethereally Indian Evening Shade to the gentle wafting whimsy of a string section that is equally comfortable with pizzicato stabs in She Hung the Moon. All the while the alternating snarl of the Waits-esque vocal and the gentler and more sentimental female vocal keep the first-time listener guessing, excited and hungry for what else can be brought to the table in forty seven minutes of joyous challenge.

This is innovative music but with so many familiar hooks and suggestions that no one needs to feel as if they’ve left Kansas. A creative and enthusiastically experimental album that comforts as much as it confronts: highly recommended.

Author: Phil Grant

Writer and Educator. Find on Twitter and Instagram @Playingtheactor

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