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Dirty Three - Ocean Songs CD (album) cover


Dirty Three

Post Rock/Math rock

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5 stars A jewel is the only word that i can say to define this spectacular piece ,an album that grows and reveal his secrets in every listening, between the delicate and emotive violin lines, the fine guitar (with delicious folk taste) and the inspired (very inspired) drums (spectacular drums! ,an excellent sample of musical expresionism) ,appear ten precious and lucid tracks. Ten wonderful tracks that draw melancholic landscapes ,with opium fragances,mist in the skies ,and the sea. . .The power of the sea involving this excellent album,the very best of Dirty Three.
Report this review (#110605)
Posted Saturday, February 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Having purchased this on the recommendation of the Post Rock collaborators here on PA, I must admit to being quite bored. The three musicians--a strumming electric guitar player, a violinist that gets stuck on repeating some very simply, almost folk/nursery rhyme-familiar melody lines, and a brush drummer who, at times, seems to drift in and out of the same universe as the string players- -at times feel as if they are not even in the same room much less playing the same song (especially with regards to tempo). Now if this were King Crimson or Oceansize or Tool--all of whom love to use polyrhythms in their songs purposely--that would be different. Maybe, like me, the pace is so slow, so boring, that they're taking turns nodding off. Narcoleptics! Songs 2 and 5, in particular, go way off track--and it doesn't sound good, so I don't think it's really intentional. Plus, there isn't enough variety in the music in which to display these musicians' skill. Only enough to put me to sleep. Five to ten times. I'm going to have to give this one one star--for completionists only (though what this album's addition could possibly 'complete' I am unsure.)
Report this review (#507690)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another intriguing lo-fi post-rock piece from Dirty Three, the followup to Horse Stories continues the band's masterful evocation of a unique atmosphere - a collection of threadbare and sparse pieces which put the listener of mind of comfortable but worn-out clothes or ramshackle fishermen's pubs on isolated and windswept coast. We're not talking yo-ho-ho sea shanties here, but there's something about the way the album is structured, with its quiet lulls and occasional stormy exclamations, which suggests to me the cycle of the tides and the rolling waves of the open sea. Once again, Warren Ellis and his compatriots have a winner on their hands.
Report this review (#630125)
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I saw these guys live once, at the Big Day Out in 1997 (the gig was memorable for Nick Cave turning up and singing "Tupelo" and "Shiver" with them, although I remember hearing complaints about his presence on RRR afterwards). In my usual leisurely way, a mere 22 years later I've finally bought one of their albums. At the time I remember hearing a lot of people talk about how innovative they were for playing instrumental, apparently largely improvised pieces with electric violin as the lead instrument. And I remember thinking, 'haven't any of you people heard of Mackenzie Theory?" On this album the music is gentle, lyrical, and drawn-out - apparently a change from their previous albums (and certainly less aggressive than I remember from that gig) - although I would still describe the sound and playing as fairly raw in it's own way, the punk backgrounds of the musicians still audible. Generally the pieces consist of a simple chord progression played by Thomas on guitar (there is little-to-no lead playing), over which Ellis improvises on violin, while White's drumming switches from functional-rhythmic to atmospheric. Occasionally piano is added. The music is calming, slightly hypnotic, but never really rises beyond the level of nice background music. Comparing them to Mackenzie Theory - well certainly a whole lot less frenetic, and Ellis's playing is much more lyrical/melodic (and more in tune) than that of Cleis Pearce, but they're also a whole lot less interesting harmonically or rhythmically.
Report this review (#2236114)
Posted Sunday, July 7, 2019 | Review Permalink

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