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HB3: Studies For Traps & Piccolo

Having released three albums in twelve months it has been a busy year for HB3. Following HB3 Plays the Piccolo Bass released in October 2009, also reviewed on this site, is the brand new release Studies For Traps & Piccolo. For those of you unfamiliar with the band, HB3 is the work one musician whose real name still remains a mystery. While the last album had only piccolo bass the new release, as suggested by the album's title, also contains drums. If you have listened to HB3's previous effort the new one may come as a surprise because it is a completely different beast. Besides the drums, HB3 uses a Univox Super-Fuzz pedal to generate an incredibly deep fuzzy tone that makes this album much heavier than its predecessor.

According to the promo sheet there is an of element of science fiction running through these songs and with titles like "The machineries Of Joy", "Leroy of the Ancient World" and "The Abyss" that comes as no surprise. There is also a pattern of one song having piccolo bass and drums followed by a song featuring only bass.

The attack on the senses begins immediately with the rocking "Rocket Science" and its fuzzy tone freak out. Dreamy soundscapes begin "The Machineries of Joy" before jangly rhythms abound sounding like acoustic guitar. It is quite amazing the sounds HB3 is able to generate from one lonely instrument. The fuzz wall of sound returns with "Leroy of the Ancient World" although this time with a slightly discordant melody and frantic drum work. Led Zeppelin came to mind when listening to the mellow "Fire Fisher" boasting spacious strums weaving in and out of the band's more fuller sound. "Brutal Bed" has HB3 going down a different path as the bass mimics synthesizers before the massive fuzzy tone kicks in. The spacey sound effects continue making this one an unexpected treat for fans of the genre. The album ending "The One Who Waits" gives off a heavy electronic vibe with synthesized drum beats and slow dirge-like bass rhythms.

The challenge with making music with only one or two instruments is to keep things interesting and I think Studies For Traps & Piccolo does a fine job keeping the level of boredom to a minimum. Credit must be given to the band for creating an imaginative album and while bass players will find much to appreciate, fans of heavy instrumental music should also find this enjoyable.

Track Listing:
1. Rocket Science (4:41)
2. The Machineries of Joy (4:40)
3. Leroy of the Ancient World (3:30)
4. Fire Fisher (5:21)
5. Brutal Bed (4:51)
6. Tyrannosaurus Rex (3:30)
7. The Abyss (2:00)
8. The One Who Waits (7:18)

Added: May 2nd 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2390
Language: english

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