About fifteen years ago I was a college student in Champaign, IL. During my time there I would go to a lot of live shows. There were a surplus of bands at that time that played great live music which veered towards jam band music but incorporated elements of styles like ska and alternative as well. That’s where my mind went when listening to Supercell by Three Unassisted. Their music unequivocally feels like a good time and something that really thrives in a live environment.
The band produced and mixed the music themselves but sent it to professional mastering studio. The results are somewhere between a typical DIY effort and a top notch professional recording. Certain things like a ping-y snare and muddiness within the 700 hz range stuck out as typical DIY issues that are almost standard while other things like the guitar sound had a more professional sound.
The band comprised of Kenny Jones (saxophone/guitars), Mark Gesior (drums), Michael Richter (bass/guitars/vocals), Will Frillman (keyboards/vocals) and Will Richter (guitars/vocals) are young from the photos and the music really reflects that. On top of sounding like a college band in a myriad of ways the vocalist just kind of sounds like a young dude.
That's not a bad thing but it’s definitely an aspect to their sound which was noticeable. The other thing about their sound that I typically notice with younger bands is the music is rather general. I could reference bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers to an amalgamation of jam bands but was having a harder time really finding distinct features which would make their sound recognizable if I heard it on the radio.
The band does do a good job of fusing different genres. This is displayed on the opener “Background of a Photograph.” The verse sounds like standard jam band type stuff with a tinge of sublime. A funky bass and flashy funky guitar are at the center. Once the chorus hits the horns comes up and goes into ska. The juxtaposition works and displays the band’s creativity.
Some songs are more rock based like “Rain Over Enterprise Park” or “Commuter.” “Still As Sand” may be the strongest song. The vocal harmonies were great and I would like to hear more of that in the future.
Three Unassisted is a good band that I think could turn into a great band if they are able to lock onto a signature sound. I don’t know what that is but they will know if they can find it. It’s really the hardest part of being a band in 2017 and something most never achieve. On top of that I’d like to hear more hooks from the lead vocalist. There is a lot of funky sublime-esque wordplay that sounds good on the verse but those big, juicy choruses that are supposed to be memorable weren't as prominent.
Overall, I’m rooting for these guys. They have obviously done their homework and have a lot of things going for them. At the very least they have a strong foundation with technically advanced players and good songwriting. On that note I also think they have the ability to take it the next level.
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