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Three Wise Monkeys - Isolation EP CD (album) cover


Three Wise Monkeys

Crossover Prog

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4 stars Three Wise Monkeys is a crossover prog band that see themselves as a fusion band. The were founded in Syndey, Australia in 2010 and have been busy playing gigs, recording albums and EPs and continually jamming since then. However, their recorded material seems to have dropped off since 2015, until finally in January of 2020, they released their 'Isolation EP'. This is a short, 3 track EP that also comes in a deluxe edition that has many more tracks included, but the tracks are all the separate jam tracks of each instrument on each of the tracks along with full score notation. We'll just stick with the 3 track edition here as the deluxe edition is obviously for accomplished musicians who want to play along.

The band is currently made up of Kypo on guitar, Alex King on bass and Brendon Waterman on drums. The EP starts off with 'Svengali' (4:05) which has some nice chunky guitar parts, but the music travels from heavy to laid back several times throughout the track. It's not just a full-bore, stoner-guitar attack, but it is surprisingly dynamic, and all of the instruments shine. The rhythm switches around several times through the course of the song, but riffs and melodies still stick out even with the meter changes that flow along quite well.

Where the first track opens heavy and strong, 'Durka Durka' (5:52) begins much softer with pensive, jangly guitar and smoother drums and bass. Again, there is a level of complexity in the rhythm. The bass gets the melody in some places, and even plays along with the guitar when the music eventually intensifies, then goes into a tasty guitar solo with the bass throwing out its own series of notes. The music soon calms, but the bass brings it all back again. Again, we get another solid, heavy prog rocking track with swashes of chords mingling with faster guitar and bass notes. All the while the drums are also making themselves known, not content to just sit back and support, but providing the complex rhythm and adding to the music at an even percentage as the other instruments.

The EP ends with the most heavy track of all, 'Procrustes' (3:36). Solid guitar riffage starts it off, but then the bass goes into staccato mode pumping out notes as the guitar plays along with a smooth solo. The drums once again fit into the complexity nicely, filling in the holes when needed and cutting back when not needed. Wow, that bass is pretty amazing too.

This goes by way too fast and hopefully is a sign of something bigger to come soon. This is a very talented instrumental band that tends to stay in a mode somewhere around heavy fusion prog and a real thinking-man's prog metal. It is a very enjoyable EP whose only fault is that it is too short. I do think its cool that they also provide the deluxe edition which is aimed at encouraging listeners to play along, but you'd have to be quite good at it to keep up with any of these three musicians. Easily 4 stars, but I wish it were longer.

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Posted Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | Review Permalink

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