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Dirty Three - Horse Stories CD (album) cover


Dirty Three


Post Rock/Math rock

3.16 | 18 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars DIRTY THREE is an atypical post-rock power trio, well maybe flower trio because of the folky instrumentation of violin (Warren Ellis), guitar (Mick Turner) and drums (Jim White). The bass parts are shared by Warren Ellis (also a member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and Mick Turner. They deliver a strange sound as they are both folk music and post-rock for the most part with outbursts of frenetic grungy rock freak outs at times, at least on their third album HORSE STORIES. I first checked out DIRTY THREE with their following "Ocean Songs" and was slightly underwhelmed because after this album they tone down a lot by keeping the entire album calm, slow and easy. It was a nice pleasantry and all but never inspired me to dig deeper into their discography. After having discovered HORSE STORIES, i was amazed at how much more diverse sounding their first three albums are.

While HORSE STORIES has plenty of placid post-folk-rock tracks that are similar in sound to the future albums, there are several tracks like "Sue's Last Ride" that begin nice and calm with the folk & country sounding violin along with the post-rock twangy guitar accompanied by the drums that slowly and gently transmogrify the mood into faster accelerating tempos that eventually reach a grunge and folk freakout. The music is never complicated and takes its time to develop but these guys have a playful way about how they weave their respective patterns around each other. I'm really not even sure why this works for me but it does!

While the styles of most of the tracks are similar whether they be slow and melancholic or bursting with energy in their familiar post-folk-rock sound, they also include an unexpected Greek song called "Mia Phora Thymamai" in English titled "I Remember A Time When You Used To Love Me" written by Yiannis Spanos. This very much sounds like a European folk song in post-rock form, it is clearly the oddest track on the album.

DIRTY THREE are not technically proficient musicians to say the least. Anyone expecting complex song structures, lightning fast virtuosity or ridiculously progressive time signatures can look somewhere else. This band is all about setting the tone for a mood and i certainly have to be in the right mood to enjoy it. While i find the later albums are more about mediation and sleepy time, this album actually has some serious rocking parts to it, even resulting in noisy cacophony at times. An acquired taste perhaps, but i'm glad i discovered the earlier chapter of this band.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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