Three 4 Tens

Change Is On Its Way

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The Three 4 Tens capture the spirit of 1960s garage psychedelia with awe-inspiring accuracy on this debut long-player. Like the Nazz, Spirit, the early Byrds, the Hollies, and Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, the Three 4 Tens are a tight ensemble that fuse traditional pop melodies with feedback, jagged driving rhythms, four-part vocal harmonies, distorted guitars, and primitive tape effects, then stack it all on top of a throbbing backbeat. It doesn't take long to bump into the band's many influences. The wah-wah rhythm guitar on "J.B.N." and the application of a sitar on "Ostinato Raga" evoke aural images of George Harrison under the influence of Maharishi Yogi. For those who pine for Jim Morrison's "Lizard King" persona or Eric Burdon's primal incarnation of the Animals' "Happy New Year," the lone dirge is a seductive shuffle that will illuminate those long-lost day-glo posters and lava lamps (note the obscure Doors lyric in the song's coda). Guitarist Joe Tagg pilfers the signature riff from the Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" in "Sugar Creek Road"," decelerating the tempo, slightly altering the phrasing, and shamelessly inserting the results into the bridge. But all is forgiven since every rock & roll guitar lick rightfully belongs to Willie Dixon and Chuck Berry anyway. An enjoyable, though not essential, retro journey to the center of your mind.

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