The Infinite Three is something of a phoenix of a group. Born out of the ashes of a past project, the band began in 2009 and has since been exhausting themselves to create some very compelling music. Their latest album Lucky Beast sounds like a culmination of years of experience and inspiration, cut with the youthfulness of what sounds like a band still playing with their style. A bit eclectic and polarizing, Lucky Beast at the very least is an intriguing listen.
When The Infinite Three first begin to work their magic, it’s hard to tell what Lucky Beast will hold. “Dawn Accelerator,” sounds like some sort of dark-psychedelic half dream. The guitar works alongside heavy percussion. The vocals are somber in some ways. The song kind of builds in several directions. The eclectic nature is a bit dizzying. In some ways it’s good, in some ways it’s questionable. A pendulum begins to swing, “Do I like this?”
Lucky Beast is pretty damn unlucky, in that, it often swings between contemptible and fantastic. It seems as if The Infinite Three become infinitely good when they learn to focus on their more drone-psychedelic inspirations, and infinitely overdone when they instead center in on those more dissonant rock jams. Demonstrating the dichotomy, the songs, “Healer” and “Partisans” come to mind.
“Healer” is by far one of the more interesting tracks that Lucky Beast has to offer. First and foremost, it has the most overwhelmingly beautiful percussion. Over time the set becomes more fully employed, and the rhthym is built. Guitars add an eerie layer of texture. The vocalist summons up his inner Damo Suzuki. The entire song is a building soundscape –a dark circus of droning instruments. Distorted chords become the pulsating of your heart and the entire song overwhelms you. The song is over ten minutes, and quite frankly –it’s the most enjoyable ten minutes Lucky Beast has to offer.
And then when you inevitably reach “Partisans” –you’re underwhelmed. Now, the song starts strong. The guitar is crisp and the percussion is on point again. But it just seems to get busier. The percussion doesn’t exactly fit the overall mood and the vocals seem misplaced. The song just feels ‘off’. On top of that, the pieces of the whole don’t seem very interesting either. When the song meets its climax –a blast of full on noise, horns going wild like not-so-lucky beasts meeting their own death –“Well yeah, that’s cool!” you’ll think to yourself, but the payoff isn’t worth it. It’s just dissonance on dissonance and not even in a pleasurable way. “Partisans” is like an awkward attempt at noise.
Maybe it’s taste, maybe there is something objectively wrong here. Regardless, The Infinite Three’s Lucky Beast really is hit or miss. Rather than obsessing over the sleeper tracks though, it might be worth salvaging what’s good (because when Lucky Beast is good –it’s real good). Although The Infinite Three didn’t pull off ‘noise’ so well with “Partisans,” they have redeemed themselves with “Like Moss.” The song is largely rock –one again driven by a heavy dose of percussion, atmospheric guitars, and a variety of vocals. Midway through, the band tosses in some screeches –some real interesting sounds. And if you just kind of listen, and you just kind of let it surprise you, the whole experience is pretty interesting. “Like Moss” merges two totally different fields of music, sandwiching noise with some drone-rock. Before it ends, the track gives you one last slap in the face –another cut of noise goodness. An impressive fairwell.
Before we wrap it up, the percussionist of The Infinite Three deserves a special pat on the back. Much of the album is drum-laden, filled with such prevalent percussion that it’s risky. Just so happens that they do a damn fine job of keeping it fresh. While it’s not like the percussion does anything too spectacular, they manage to take just under an hour of music and make every hit count. It’s just outright impressive.
The Infinite Three’s Lucky Beast is a bit of an oddball album. It’s great and terrible all at once, and it’s tempting to think that what most people find great, others will find terrible (and vise versa). Lucky Beast as a whole isn’t going to be the most universally acceptable album. But if you’re looking for a spot between drone, noise, psychedelic, just plain rock, and/or everything between, Lucky Beast might be worth at least one listen.