3 Speed Automatic is a Dutch Stoner Rock band with Hard Rock and 70's influences. This band was formerly known as Taildragger. This trio made two albums, Nomans Land and Villa Rocka, both released in 2004 and one EP, Songs from Tijuana, released in 2006. This band is famous in The Netherlands because of their great live performances. You must hear this awesome album! The absolute highlight of this album is the song Walk On The Sun. Enjoy!
The press release for Rotterdam, Holland's, 3Speed Automatic (3SA), describes them as a band who "heavily drinks from the golden chalice of hoary 70's rock," and that isn't too far from the truth. While their influences may hearken back to the polyester era, this is no modern act trying to sound retro. Comprised of former members of Taildragger, The 70's worship of 3SA is most evident in the fat tones and stripped-down sound of the recording, touching bases in the houses of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy (track 7, "2nd Coming," struck me as particularly Lizzyesque). After getting a little worn out on acts throwing too many layers of redundant overdubs and unintelligible, bloody-throat vocals into every song, this 3SA disc is a welcome listen that damn near bullseyes my rock and roll sweet spot.
The record opens with the instrumental, "Splitting the Atom," beginning-to-end the most uptempo song, and a great slice of gritty rock and roll that gives you a pretty good idea of what the band is all about. 3SA is not a band that is trying to sound overly heavy, or bludgeon you to death with punishing riffs. This is just a straight up, old school heavy rock band. There is a bit of psychedelia here and there along the lines of Nebula's first couple records, but 3SA doesn't live there. In fact, track 2, "NoMans Land," sounds like Bleach-era Nirvana, with Cobainesque vocals, a rolling bass progression, and a grainy rock production that seems to tip its hat to the work Jack Endino was doing in Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Track 4, "Took the Train," has a sleazy groove to it that I really enjoy. This is nearly my favorite track, if only because of the awesome, fuzzed-out bass solo. With its loping swing, track 6, "Stranded," is the most 70s-throwback track on the album, with wah guitar and hammond organ (provided by Yasmin) taking up space in a nicely layered mix. The fat lead guitar tone of the outro brings the song to a nice close, with additional tracks of guitar building to a very satisfying ending.
The best track on the record to my ears, though, is the closer, "Walk on the Sun." This is easily the most psychedelic song of the offering, with a moody bass groove, tasty drums, and scathing guitar, as well as another appearance from the hammond. There are some spoken samples, a tactic that usually annoys me, that do work here. The song builds from a sparse initial groove, getting more and more intense as the tempo builds, reaching a frenzy just before reprising the original tempo and refrain. Good stuff, this song.
3SA has delivered an excellent collection of heavy, well-played rock with serviceable vocals, and a recording where attention to tone was obviously the order of the day. I am eager to hear what these guys come up with next, as their take on stripped-down old school rock is just what the music world needs these days.
(By Chris La Tray at Hellridemusic)
3 Speed Automatic - Nomans Land (2004)