The Threes
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The Threes

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF
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"The Threes - Head Voices"

Head Voices, the debut album by The Threes, opens with “16 Tons,” a song written by Merle Travis that Tennessee Ernie Ford made into a huge hit in 1955. However, Zach Hodson and Rachel Jaggard of The Threes only sing the chorus of the song in the opening of their version as the band launches into a blistering salvo of guitar, bass, and drums backing rapid-fire alternate lyrics. It’s a ballsy Gold Rush approach that grabs for a lot of sonic landscape occupied by a total of eleven tracks on the record.

The next track “Monster” bursts out of the gate with a boldness that could fill an arena. Bolstered by a quick keyboard hook and rampaging rhythm, Hodson and Jaggard sing their guts out with power harmonies, bursts of woo hoo hoo(!), and backing vox from Mark Johnson and D.R. Blakeman of Shudder. Clearly, this band is intent on making an impression with brazen confidence and a hard-charging sound. Craftily, the lead vocalists switch up the pace with the sassy slow grind of “Honey (I Think You Know).” The duo trade vocals about a relationship rocked apart.

Jaggard’s youthful voice is sultry and brassy, showing the take-charge attitude of Shirley Manson (Garbage) or, dare I mention it, Pat Benatar’s rock opera pipes. It’s refreshing to hear another substantive female vocalist in the Kansas City indie music scene join the likes of Kirsten Paludan (Olympic Size) or Abby Henderson (The Gaslights). Jaggard’s vocals work especially well in tandem with Hodson’s rougher edge.

the threes album head voices “Meet the Neighbors” is a slower tune with moody keys and a bassoon in the forefront. Faint jingle bells, subdued drumming by Felipe Lazen, and dreamy (nearly post-coital) crooning by Jaggard waft into the ether. “Mr. Riot vs. The Wurlitzer” is a pretty trifle on upright Wurlitzer performed by Hodson that serves as a brief interlude on the record. Next, the band unleashes the upbeat tune, “A Ballad for Kathryn,” that highlights two-part harmony, a cascade of percussion, driving guitar, and Wagner Uchoa anchoring the low end on bass.

As a whole, The Threes have a lot of Head Voices clanking around in their collective heads. The album is a showcase of the band’s inclination to jam, bump, grind, swagger, funk out, leap forth, and step lightly as the mood and message dictates. While the vocal and musical arrangements are dense and packed to the brim at times, it’s fair to say that the band held nothing back in their arsenal with this effort. Each song is distinct in approach and delivery, making for lively listening to accommodate the range of the material. Head Voices is ambitious, adventurous, and exuberant. - Present Magazine


"The Threes CD Review"

Not a lot of bands that can pull off a combination of two-part harmonies, complex arrangements and rock-solid rhythms. The Threes can.

It’s easy to like the Kansas City band’s latest album, “Head Voices.” Three hours later you’re still humming the bassoon line to “Meet the Neighbors.”

The band — made up of Rachel Jaggard, Zach Hodson, Ryan Ashmore, Wagner Uchoa and Felipe Lazen — is versatile and diverse, rare assets in KC.

The real star track here is “Meet the Neighbors,” a bassoon- and keyboard-heavy song that mesmerizes and haunts. But it probably won’t get stuck in everyone’s head like “Honey (I Think You Know),” on which the band explores rhythms and harmonic range in a hypnotic, lyrical back-and-forth about heartache.

The opening track, “16 Tons,” transitions from a two-part harmony into a frolicky, fast-paced punk tune with a remarkably funky bridge.

“14 Hours A Man” damns the powers that be with a cacophony of sound. It would overwhelm if not for the simple, keyboard-driven hook.

Any fan of Weezer, They Might Be Giants, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins or other bands that stretch perceptions of pop music will like this. - Ink Magazine


"The Threes -- Head Voices -- CD"

This looks interesting since the primary photos are the band have them dressed up as Alice, The White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. To start things off they do a fairly traditional start to the song “16 Tons” then completely rock it out. I believe they have a bassoon playing on “Meet the Neighbors” which is something you don’t hear often, even in great indie rock. And that is what The Threes are, great indie rock with equal parts Superchunk, The Muffs and bands that you would find on Eskimo Kiss Records. - thechickenfishspeaks.com


"15 Words or Less"

Keith: "If X was an indie band with no punk spirit, they might sound like this. Or not."

Laurie: "Hippy, proggy, folky, fascinating stuff. This is how to have sex with Canadians."

Danny: "Unquestionably the winner tonight. Interesting production, vocals & arrangements all over the map."

Chris: "Weirdly produced pop songs with touches of darkness and madness. Red pill or blue pill?" - Hybrid Magazine


"Head Voices -- Review"

Kansas City’s The Threes channel some of rocks great on their debut album. The Threes are conveniently a three piece and sounds like a young version of Nada Surf combined with They Might Be Giants and a hint of some 60s Motown in the mix as well. The record starts off with “16 Tons.” The intro to the song might just be one of the best I have heard all year. The single the traditional song “16 Tones” in that really rustic and lo-fi sound. Then it kicks into a high energy and high octane pop tune. “Honey (I Think You Know)” switches the record up slightly with something a little slower. The song reminds us of some classic B-52s. Especially, with how Rachel and Zach interact vocally. “A Ballad For Kathryn” is really unlike any ballad you have ever heard.

“Head Voices” is a solid record their blend of pop rock is a fresh take on some classic ideals. The blend of that and the very DIY aspects of this record are what really make it stick out. The songs being a little rough and rigid give them more heart and charm. It is records like this that make you wish you owned your own label. It is really exciting stuff. - ComfortComes.com


Discography

We have released one LP, Head Voices, which is in rotation on popfreeradio.com and streamable / downloadable via last.fm, iTunes, CD Baby, Rhapsody, Amazon, and countless other online retailers/sources.

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Bio

The Threes came together with one mission in mind: to bring catchy arrangements, complex harmonies, and pop sensibility back to independent rock.

Returns from their 2008 debut album Head Voices indicate they're on the right track, having been named Best Local Album 2008 by Ink Magazine. 2009 saw the Threes play over 40 shows in 14 states, including a 16 date Northern/Eastern US Tour.

Plans for 2010 include the recording and release of our sophomore LP entitled "Damn Good Times at Riot High" and touring/promotion to support it. In addition, we are working to release a series of supplemental EP's, material to include a wide variety of media from acoustic songs to experimental art noise to "radio style" comedy bits.

Comparisons are abundant, from Weezer to The Muffs to Mates of State, although The Threes claim as influences everything from Morphine to Iron Maiden.

One might ask what you get if you take a pair of pop-obsessed, synth-playing singers, a blues guitarist steeped in punk, and an eclectic pocket drummer?

The answer is The Threes.