Three Man Army

A Third of a Lifetime

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The first Three Man Army album, despite its confidently trio-based title, actually teamed Paul Gurvitz and Adrian Gurvitz with a number of different drummers, including Buddy Miles, Spooky Tooth's Mike Kellie, and Vanilla Fudge's Carmine Appice. Though the Gurvitzes were able at mimicking the cliches of early-'70s hard rock, their material was ordinary to the point of dullness, and their guitar soloing stereotypical almost to the point of unwitting self-parody. A good number of British bands in the Led Zeppelin-Deep Purple spectrum did this kind of stuff better. There were occasional glimmers of something that went outside the genre's narrowest bounds -- a bit of pop harmonizing in "Three Man Army," acoustic guitar flavorings for "Agent Man" and "See What I Took," blues-soul organ improvisation in "Midnight," a strange lyrical grounding for "Butter Queen" ("if your name is Barbara, how come they call you butter queen?" they ask rhetorically). The two best tracks were the least typical -- "Together" is much more Beatlesque early-'70s rock with a hippie attitude (and a synthesizer) than it is hard rock, and "A Third of a Lifetime" is a genuinely pretty orchestrated instrumental ballad.

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