When I first listened to this next band, I was simply awestruck. I immediately thought to myself: Why haven’t I found these guys earlier? A combination of power and creativity, the band 3 has found its way among the most played bands on my iTunes Library.
3 is a four-piece band from Woodstock, New York, consisting of Joey Eppard on vocals and guitar, Billy Riker on guitar, Chris Gartmann on drums, and Daniel Grimsland on bass guitar. With seemingly little information of this band on the internet, an added mystery and ambiguity came with listening to this band for the first time. Falling under the genre of progressive rock, 3 also delves into many other genres of music from album to album. Some of these other genres include funk, blues, flamenco, alternative rock, and progressive metal. After hearing their discography, along with the variety of musical influences, I could not help but repeating their most recent album “The Ghost You Gave to Me.”
For being a band that’s been around for almost 20 years and has released 6 albums, I am surprised at how little I am able to find about them. What’s even more surprising is that despite this timeframe, their brilliant musicianship has gone seemingly unnoticed. Even with the fame associated with Joey Eppard being the brother of Coheed and Cambria’s drummer Josh Eppard, I have not found much publicity for this band or any of their albums. Their most recent album “The Ghost You Gave to Me” (released in 2011) in my opinion should have been considered one of the greatest progressive rock albums of the year, released by one of the greatest progressive rock bands of the decade. The overall quality of this album is remarkable, comparable to major productions by some of rock music’s greatest artists.
Riker, Gartmann and Grimsland provide a perfect foundation to frontman Eppard throughout the album on their respective instruments. The drum beats are complex, yet groovy. The song “React” shows great use of the bass pedal mixed with powerful hits of the cymbals. The bass guitar is simple, yet balances well with the lead and rhythm guitars. “Numbers” and “Only Child” contains some of the funkiest bass riffs I’ve heard since listening to anything with Flea in it. The rhythm guitar shines in providing deep and heavy riffs, especially in the songs “Afterglow” and “Sparrow.”
It is impossible to talk about this album without mentioning Joey Eppard. Being the lead singer and guitarist, Eppard clearly is the dominant member of this band. His voice is stellar throughout the entire album, almost reminding me of Justin Timberlake (whom I also find to have a terrific voice despite my distaste of his music). I literally have nothing bad to say against his voice. One just has to listen to the songs “Afterglow” and “It’s Alive” to get confirmation of the range and power of his voice. Along with singing throughout the album, Eppard helps the band stand out from other progressive rock bands with its unique sound. Relying upon these different influences, the vibe differs from song to song. Songs like “Numbers” and “The Ghost You Gave to Me” portray the metal side of 3, while atmosphere drastically changes into a more ballad-like feeling in the songs “One With The Sun” and “The Barrier.”
It is hard to pick my favorite song off this album because of the range of sound and the pure greatness of this album. With that said, the one song that is played the most according to my iTunes Library is the song “Only Child.” It has the essence of progressive rock, portraying the drums, bass, and guitars at its finest, while being carried by Eppard’s breathy and fantastic vocals. My favorite lyrics of the album are also within this song’s bridge:
“And if I go before your time / Don’t let them close your mind / Don’t watch the flowers fall / Never looking back at all / But if I should change before your eyes / Don’t be fooled by my disguise / You were born of my demise / And I’m a willing sacrifice / Should you wake before you die / Don’t let a day go by / Don’t believe a word they say / I’ll be back again one day” (source)
For fans of progressive rock or metal, I suggest you drop whatever you’re doing and listen to “The Ghost You Gave to Me.” I also recommend this album to those who like to hear brilliant vocals and lyrics, no matter what genre of music you’re into. The album is dark yet upbeat, containing themes of staying positive despite hardship. It’s melodic yet contains fantastic moments of instrumental genius. It’s an all-around great album. For those who fell in love with this album as I did, you should listen to their prior album “The End is Begun.” Please support the band 3 and their album “The Ghost You Gave to Me.”
Please check out this Youtube video featuring the song “Numbers”: