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Neo-Smorgasbord (Splunge Communications)

Mar. 21, 2013
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In hindsight the musical landscape of the late ’80s offered a landfill of new music. Radio, television, magazines and movies smelled money. But with some digging you can always find gems. Witness 3onfire, formed in 1987 by Clancy Carroll with drummer Bill Stace and bassist Fred Fischer. Maybe it was because they were slightly older (and maybe wiser) than the pack, but the music they made right out of the gate never even nodded to the latest jangly trend or British-inspired fad. It was high-energy rock ’n’ roll.

Neo-Smorgasbord illuminates the wisdom of taking full advantage of studios where 3onfire would not be limited by the trio format. Listen to Fischer’s cinematic “Dark Continent” with Stace’s pounding toms and Carroll’s guitar jabs as the tune builds like a sonic volcano, finally erupting and smoldering in the distance. It is quite possibly the highpoint in a set of great tunes. Even a goof like “I Like Your Refrigerator” comes off as a cool track within the album’s ebb and flow. Always open to new ideas, 3onfire added a second guitarist for a time and even included a sax player.

The album’s final track, the sagacious “Till Always is Over,” finds 3onfire cutting loose on a slice of raga-rock that hints at bigger questions and the desire to keep moving on.



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