Once again, Rex continue to refine their gentle, meandering brand of emo-core indie rock. Like an Afghan Whigs on Prozac, Rex's third full length features an increased attention on the violins, mandolins and cellos that subtly accompany the quiet, drifting guitars and bass. Although maybe just another twig from a flowering tree, 3 is powerful enough to play loudly, yet gentle and subdued enough for use as a soundtrack to peaceful introspection. 3 builds slowly and brightly like the best of today's burgeoning alterna-country bands. But to call their unique brand of rock music country would be selling it short. This is music with a subtle groove and more instrumental work than vocals. The clarity and crisp production of "One Stew" features guitar moments that recall the gentler side of Led Zeppelin, while the jangly "Balloon" reminds one of a sunny spring day at the fair. Unlike the off-kilter sparseness of earlier efforts, 3 reveals a Rex who fuses the rolling swagger of Palace with the prog-rock of Tortoise.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Marc Ruxin