For years in my mind it seems that Italy’s Three Second Kiss have gone hand in hand with bands like Shellac, Uzeda, and really any others sharing the same sort of scratchy minimalist math-rock approach. Dating back to 1996, the band has a long history together that has thus far resulted in six albums representing greatly as to what the genre has to offer. So it’s because of that as to why I wonder what instigated a change in sound for the trios sixth studio album Tastyville. I won’t lie, it’s been a pleasant surprise to get acquainted with it. One thing that could have played a part in the change of direction is the bands decision to go it alone on this record. They’d previously worked with producers such as Steve Albini and Ian Burgess, which I’m assuming kept their Chicago avant-rock influences that much closer. However, for Tastyville drummer Sacha Tilotta assumed duties for recording and mixing the record which could have contributed to the much more relaxed nature that the album takes on heavily. Having the peace of mind to work freely as one pleases probably sucks a lot of the tension out of the process.
While I talk of changes, there are still many of the aspects that were always prominent within the groups sound. It’s just now the complete rigidness of it is gone and replaced with a notable looseness that weaves together a flurry of intricately designed notes spawning what is likely the most melodic album the band has produced during their lengthy time together. Where as in the past minimalism was more or less the point, now it’s mostly an afterthought as the songs all flow in a manner that rarely approaches the past moments of quiet noodling or complete pauses. It just feels and sounds like a record that offers significantly more to digest upon repeated listens while still being able to hold on to the technicality that presents the type of challenge that Three Second Kiss have issued listeners for nearly 15 years now. Good stuff from these Italian vets.
Three Second Kiss – Maya (stream)
This is currently available for pre-order overseas through Africantape, however will hopefully soon be available to those of us in the states through Sickroom Records. Keep an eye out for it, otherwise if you’re across the pond…then order away!