Independent rock has always adhered to the adage "waste not want not," even if it hasn't always meant not going wanting. As evidence, the songs on the Black Heart Procession's A Three Song Recording were unused products of the recording sessions at rural Seattle's Bear Creek Studio for the band's sophomore full-length, 2. Though they didn't make it onto that excellent record, these songs could easily serve as high points for a lesser group. If this EP was a movie, it would be set at a carnival in the deep South with a gothic fortuneteller channeling Tom Waits in a dimly lit tent while the shadows of midgets played across the canvas walls. The instrumental "Destroying the City of Hearts" opens its threatening, singing saw-laced atmospherics with the sounds of a distant riot, then weaves a dramatic waltz between the piano of Tobias Nathaniel and the mournful trumpeting of hired gun Jason Crane. A Three Song Recording was released on Seattle's Up Records after late owner Chris Takino was unable to draw the Black Hearts away from the greater resources of Chicago's Touch and Go, which enjoyed the privilege of releasing 2. If you are a fan of the Black Heart Procession, don't let the brevity of A Three Song Recording hang you up; there is a mood here you'll want in your collection.
AllMusic Review by Sean Hurley