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Three Against Four

Concert review by Dave Merrill

The crowd was still pretty small, but appreciative. There was a lot of drinking, merrymaking and blanket collecting going on. Three Against Four, a trio from Boston, set up their equipment, and Rowell joined them on stage for an introduction. Three Against Four are Brandon Patton (bass and vocals), Anand Nayak (guitar and vocals), and Jay Skowronek (drums). The band started off running with their song, Statement. The chiming lead guitar offered a promise of good things to come. It was a promise fulfilled, because the song was awesome. Wild guitar playing meshed with the statements made in stream of consciousness style lyrics. They sang in a monotone, "No philosophy will satisfy me in a mood like this. . ."

"2 Days," a song from Patton's solo album, "Nocturnal," was next. It's a hard edged song about falling in love in only two days. They have an interesting lead and backing vocal mix. Patton explained that their song "Grace" was written for Jeff Buckley. It had a complex and choppy lead guitar, and you could tell they were really into this tune, particularly the drummer, Skowronek. It's a really tense song.

They dedicated "Bottle" to a best friend from elementary school, whose wife just told him she wanted a divorce. It had a soft, cool bass line, and a quirky, funk influenced guitar style. It started off quiet, slowly building to crescendo, then softening again at the end. This was an intense song live. The energy held up, despite Patton's guitar strap falling off his bass. The rest of the band continued playing undaunted as he fixed it. The song was about divorce and alcoholism.

"Think Again" featured Nayak on lead vocals. There was some great funky distortion on his guitar. Skowronek took over with a drum solo in the middle of the song. It ran right into "Green On The Ceiling," with frantic guitar, bass and drumming degenerating into soft drum and guitar overlaid by a quirky vocal. It created an interesting dreamlike effect, like being under water. They closed their set with "Fall Out." I was very impressed by this young band. Their intense playing and devotion to their craft shone through any technical problems with sound and equipment.