Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big Life-Three Leaf

Three Leaf
Big Light
Pitchdark Productions
Big Light is the first self-produced debut album for San Marcos bluegrass-root-rockers Three Leaf. The quartet which consists of singer/guitarist Chris Brennand, multi-instrumentalist Jared White, bassist Kent Chandler, and drummer/percussionist Zac Catanzaro formed in 2000.
"Take What You Want," is a folksy ballad permeated with rootsy banjo riffs which reiterates the lyrics "steal what you need, use your nails, use your teeth and you will go far" through the song. Listening to the lyrics one would realize it's about growing up, getting caught in a corporate American dream and forgetting who you are. The album's second track entitled "Raw Monkey" is central to Three Leaf's sound incorporating fast guitar riffs, melodic banjo strumming, beat-crazy percussion, and Brennand's wailing vocals. The standout track "Opportunistic," is a well developed upbeat track about a band on their way to stardom. "Flagwave Shadows," the tenth and last track of the album is a slow paced tune consisting of melodic guitar and soft drumming which escalate towards the end of the song while Brennard croons, "love will leave you in the end, beautifully broken in."
The album cover which is mostly black features an illuminated cutout face. The posterior of the album reveals how the image on the front was created with a backlight. The focus of the album isn't on jamming or really on bluegrass, but more on the songwriting and arrangements. Comparable to a more eclectic, rootsy Yonder Mountain String Band album with the inclusion of percussion and drums, Three Leaf's Big Light is perfect to pop into the stereo on a chill evening or quiet night in.