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“The Duel” by Three Sides: A New Old West

TSTD

Place yourself in an old western town – and then bring in a surf rock band to play in the tavern: that’s what you get with Three Sides’ new single, “The Duel”. This is one of those relatively short songs that somehow feels longer in its delivery. With the tumbleweed intro and extended outro reminiscent of some kind of psychedelic rock anthem, this track never stops moving.

Three Sides is Mark Cross, who sings and plays guitar; Charlie Alpert, who also plays guitar; PJ Lombardo, the keyboardist; Matt Villa, the bassist, and Alex Nelson, who plays drums and other percussion. They’re a California based group that’s been releasing music since 2014. Cross sounds a bit like a hybrid of Kurt Cobain and Dave Matthews – edgy, still maintaining warm, compelling sound, and Alpert has some stunning guitar lines that propel the song into different sections that would be missed if they weren’t there. The rest of the band provides solid support and groove – much appreciated and needed.

The production is solid – everything is well mixed and the guitarists do a great job of supporting the vocal with their corresponding riffs and harmony that add a great compliment to the song and especially to the melody of the chorus. There’s a bit of psychedelic rock influence – modal melodies, esoteric lyrics, as well as a nod to musical and lyrical elements found in Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips.

The band traditionally seems to lean toward polysemic lyrics, and although they use western and dueling metaphors and analogies, it seems as if this song is about a break-up and the final fight that finally seals the deal on the ending of a relationship. The pain imbued by the Cross through the delivery of his vocal helps to seal the deal on this story – and with the catchy chorus reminiscent of ‘ring around the rosy’ and the death implied within that song (which hearkens to the Bubonic Plague) brings in another element of darkness and demise that seemingly never ends.

A solid song from a surf and psychedelic inspired Indie Rock band. Worth checking out.

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