ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


3rd Ear Experience - 2017 - "Stoned Gold"

(76:34; Space Rock Productions)


TRACK LIST: 1. Infinite Unmanifest 16:48 2. Iceberg Dream 12:13 3. Stoned Gold 7:55 4. I Am Not Robot 13:19 5. No Walls, No Wars 7:12 6. The Drone 12:00 7. Where You Roam 7:07 LINE UP: Robbi Robb - vocals, guitars Jorge Bassman - bass, backing vocals Amritakripa - vocals, synthesizers Richard Stuverud - drums, percussion with: Steven Young - vocals Alex Perez - vocals

Prolusion. US band 3rd Ear Experience have been a going concern for the last 15 years or thereabouts, releasing new material at a slightly unsteady pace at times but with what appears to be a fairly constant activity revolving around the band and it's members. They have seven studio productions to their name at this point, with the most recent release dating back to 2021. "Stoned Gold" was released back in 2017 through the label Space Rock Productions.

Analysis. Given the label this album was released on, it should be no big surprise to reveal that this production revolves around good, old space rock. A style of music some regard as a natural inhabitant in the progressive rock universe, while others see this type of music as one existing in it's very own universe. But whether it is this or that, according to a person's subjective view, this is music that will always have an audience inside of the progressive rock universe. In the case of 3rd Ear Experience, it is an improvised variety of the form we are dealing with. While I suspect that some additional details have been added in a studio setting, the material here appears to revolve around jam sessions rather than composed material, with select parts of one or more sessions edited and finalized for an album inclusion. The majority of the material on this album is of the tight, vibrant and energetic variety, with a driving bass and drum foundation for riffs and guitar soloing to play upon with the guitar soloing catering for the majority of the ongoing variation while the rhythm foundation creates compelling and appealing landscapes with solid momentum and tension upholding properties. In some cases with a bit of a stoner foundation to the proceedings, and with electronic cosmic effects applied to this core the end result for those excursions tends to come across as a more amped up and vibrant variety of Hawkwind. Many of the songs will also feature more careful and dampened interludes with a more flowing, loose and open feel to them, and occasionally a song will revolve a bit more around these passages too. Otherwise the songs will alternate between being more guitar driven with little room for keyboards and cosmic effects and being guitar driven but with a more liberal and sometimes constant inclusion of the more traditional space and cosmic producing instrumentation.

Conclusion. "Stoned Gold" is the second album by 3rd Ear Experience I have been introduced to, and in my ears this is a solid and very well executed variety of space rock. The emphasis on more free roaming improvised material suits the musicians really well, and for my sake I find them to be most charming when they hit off at what I'd describe as a modernized take on the old Hawkwind sound. Those with an affection for a heavier and vibrant variety of space rock should feel right at home with the landscapes explored on this production.

Progmessor: February 2023
The Rating Room

Related Links:

3rd Ear Experience

Space Rock Productions


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages