by Jeff Milo
Nov 30th - 3FT Album Release - Tangent Gallery
3FT want to get to know you better, but they've got to know themselves, first.
So go the cool, cryptic lyrics leading you into the meditatively thrashing opening track of their debut full length.
Who are 3FT and what kind of a name for a band is that?
They're local boys, relax. Just three of them - apparently inclined to champion the sensational psychedelic feats attainable with just a bass, a guitar, a drum kit, and a few key pedals and effects bars. (Oh, but, well...there's some organs on there, but hey...)
The bare bonesness of their approach gives them a toughness; not aggressive or confrontational, but just that cool kind of black rebel motorcycle-styled squint, slight nod, twist the throttle and roll... Grooving, crusty, kick-in-the-ribs rock n roll transfused with the furrowed fuzz of shoegaze and the tastefully measured-out spin cycles of droning noise-experimentation.
Chris Dion, Dean Marlo and Danny Kanka had no intention of forming a band, nor did they have any preconception of what their sound would be, or turn out to be, when they first started jamming in the summer of 2012. That they even jammed in the first place, came on a whim, since Kanka and Marlo were neighbors and, meanwhile, Marlo and Dion have been musical collaborators for several years, so they figured why not try it?
Actually, they had to try it, try something, at least. They'd invited some friends in a band from Arizona to town, helping them secure a couple spots to play, but they needed an opener. 3FT -as a band, started improving in their Detroit recording space, just in time to "...become a band" for those shows. As they see it, they just built some songs and road the rails.
Whatever the sound is, it's something as spacey and as cool as lost-in-space mutant Mods from some psychedelic 60's-bent ring of Saturn, yet aptly as caustic as the asphalt environs enveloping the trio as they undermine the walls of their practice space with crunchy guitars, clangorous drums and dreamy-drawled vocals humming heavily along through the storms of distortion...
The trio share influences, but their list is ever-evolving. R&B and soul from the 50's and 60's, the underground sounds from NY's Lower East Side in the late 60's, anywhere from indie-rock to seminal blues, from the Stooges and the Stones to stranger styles from Krautrock. It's a gutsy kinda sound - coming straight out of whatever they're feeling in the immediate moment.
Six of their debut's eight songs were written spontaneously, born out of improvisation. This, they think, explains the urgency in their sound, as well as how all the element swirl together into a tight groove. They never over-thought anything, and that helped things fall into place.
When this writer went to see Wasabi Dream's debut at the Lager House in the a couple seasons back, it was renowned engineer Chris Koltay (resume includes: Akron Family, Deerhunter, Bars Of Gold, Child Bite, and many more), mixing the sound. 3FT played that night too, and were approached by Mr. Koltay after the set. The band credits Koltay's encouragement with getting them in the studio sooner, rather than later, for which their glad.
"Koltay's good at making you realize what you've just tracked is the 'one,' and to not obsess over the later perception," said Dion, on what the band learned during the recording process at High Bias Studios.
"Also," Kanka adds, "just letting go, not caring about the little mistakes and having fun. Koltay made that very easy for me, as a drummer. The studio itself was very welcoming and for the first time I could let go and do what I wanted."
Says Marlo, "We also learned how to make a better Mostaccioli!"
The band is currently just about halfway through their follow-up, hoping to record over the wintertime. The hope is that 3FT becomes a "perpetual motion machine..." They're ready, should that happen, to take it for a ride.