Monday, December 17, 2018

The Kent 3-Spells

Never fitting in with any sub-strata (with built-in devotees) the Kent 3 have been taking the dark ol' state routes off the Western musical map for the last decade. Their should-be-legendary albums are too musically adventitious to neatly land in the usual RnR/garage/punk slots while too spry, agile and lyrically keen to fit in with their lumbered region predominated by gang grunge.  While they offer no manifestations of cheap hope, happy endings or pretensions, they do offer some vivid vignettes with coursing lyrics-informed as much by Frederick Exley as they are by that Pickwick poet Lou Reed. This is street poetry for undercover punks not on the streets. These are vigorous yet free-flowing songs for uniting those who will never be united. Spells can rouse listeners to the short-cut depths of the contradictory and skewed turn-of-the-century West-that takes place off the I-10 between open dumpsters and closed unidentified warehouses. Its surf-rock drumming, trebly, but tough guitars, and literate Beat-inspired lyrics are splattered on the blacktop and reign-in everything from a low desert midnight mass to a brackish Pacific Northwest mountain pass.  While this band only published praises might be found between the smudged ink and yellowed pages of a Fiz zine, attuned ears and a miner's light on the lyrics etched into this compelling and convincing album might finally give this band some long awaited due.

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