Personnel: Joey Eppard (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, strings, piano); Roman Klun (acoustic guitar, strings, piano, synthesizer, percussion, background vocals); Billy Riker (electric guitar); Daniel Grimsland (mandolin, strings, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, synthesizer, background vocals); Chris "Gartdrumm" Gartmann (drums, percussion, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Roman Klun.
Recording information: Darkworld Studios; Innsbruck Studios.
Starting off as a band that was not ashamed to flaunt their admiration of Tool, by the time of their 2009 offering, Revisions, the group that simply goes by the number "3" has managed to shed its obvious influence. However, the album opener, "Anyone Human," certainly kicks off with an unmistakable Tool groove, but singer Joey Eppard's vocals are in a much higher register than Maynard James Keenan's. And the group also utilizes acoustic guitar in an interesting way -- not in a folky, strum-the-day-away style, but rather in a percussive-attack approach, as heard on the album's obvious stab at a hit single, "Rabid Animals," and "Lexicon of Extremism." Elsewhere, you'll find tunes such as "The Better Half of Me" and "Automobile," which are so pop friendly that they wouldn't sound out of place on mainstream Top 40 radio. Did 3 soften up their sound in hopes of crossover success? Probably so. But 3 has also taken steps toward finding its own original style/approach on certain songs -- which isn't as easy as it used to be, in the current "we've heard it all before" musical climate. ~ Greg Prato