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3rd Ear Experience - 2016 - "Stones of a Feather"

(73:36, 3rd Ear Experience)



1. Flight Of The Annunaki 10:13
2. Old Woman's Dance 8:06
3. Return Of The Peacock 9:56
4. Chungo 9:18
5. Balladeer's Tale 16:04
6. Space Tripping (Live) 19:59


Robbi Robb / guitars
Amritakripa / synthesizer, voices
Alan Swanson - keyboards
Jorge Bassman Carrillo - bass
Richard Stuverud - drums
Kurosh Showghi - didgeridoo
Bobby Furgo - violin
Rojer Arnold / flute
Chris Unck - guitars
Danny Frankel - percussion
Kyle Hanson - percussion
John Juan Smolinski - percussion
Joshua Adams - keyboards
Steve Howells - drums
Dug Pinnick - growling, bass
Craig Else - bass 
Damian Lester - vocals, bass
John Whoolilurie - sax

Prolusion. US band 3RD EAR EXPERIENCE revolves around the talents of composers and musicians Robbi Robb and Amritakripa; and whoever wants to join in on their endeavors. At least that is the impression one gets when reading up on the band and the musicians credited on their different albums. "Stones of a Feather" is the fourth of the five albums the band have issued so far, and was self-released in 2016.

Analysis. Space rock and psychedelic rock are the two main descriptions given this band, with expressions such as jam band and improvisational fleshing out a bit more in terms of what kind of music to expect here. While I guess the music isn't totally, full fledged improvised throughout, the greater majority of the cuts here does come with that flavor at least in part. And I'd hazard a guess that actual composing with notes on a sheet perhaps isn't what this ensemble spends most time doing. As far as this kind of music goes, 3rd Ear Experience is a fairly varied and eclectic bunch. More delicate, smooth creations with something of a jazz touch to them is just as much a part of their repertoire as electronic fueled sequences closer to the likes of Tangerine Dream. Classic, pumping space rock passages with a bit of a nod towards the likes of Hawkwind sits fine side by side with psychedelic excursions with a world music flavor. Classic hard rock staples like the organ and guitar combination is a feature as well, as are classic rock tinged journeys and even the occasional nod to a band like Led Zeppelin. As one might conclude from such a description, 3rd Ear Experience isn't a band that have carved out a niche sound to explore, but instead has a strong identity in terms of being a band with an expansive palette. Which often is a good thing for music of this kind, that otherwise might become a tad repetitive. This isn't a danger here at all, even if some of the more careful, ambient-tinged phases and transitions can stretch towards the limits of what is intriguing on an occasion or two. But good flow and a liberal amount of careful details and sounds maintains interest and tension quite nicely. Perhaps not a brilliant album, but most certainly a solid and well crafted one.

Conclusion. 3rd Ear Experience comes across as an ensemble nearing their peak quality on their fourth album "Stones of a Feather". Space rock with an improvised charm and character is the name of the game here, with versatility and variations as central supplemental phrases to describe the contents. If you enjoy music of this kind, then this is a CD that seriously merits a consideration as a must buy, for everyone else I'd say this is a fine manner in which to get familiar with the improvised school of space rock bands.

Progmessor: August 26th, 2018
The Rating Room

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