Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, Tom Rainey, Out Trios Volume Three: Ash And Tabula

Charles Farrell

By Charles Farrell

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Out Trios Volume Three: Ash And Tabula

Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, Tom Rainey

Nels Cline bends idioms about as easily as he does the strings of his guitar. For Out Trios Volume Three, he has, along with longtime collaborators accordionist/keyboardist Andrea Parkins and drummer Tom Rainey, concocted a sometimes mysterious, sometimes violent and occasionally funny album.

Sonically squeamish need not apply.

With its references to B horror movie themes, quasi organ trio licks, Sonny Sharrock-like sheets of sound and washes of white noise, the album never stays rooted in any particular strain of logic for too long. “Lower Story,” for example, is a frenetic feedback-and-organ romp through a hellish dreamscape. Indeed, much of the album seems dreamlike. “Alleys of North America” presents a stately guitar theme accompanied by drums that go from a skittish junkyard scrambling to quiet cymbals, these eventually joined by Parkins playing a haunting piano figure. From there, the trio moves to what sounds like a demented nursery rhyme, “Pearly Turbo.”

Out Trios Volume Three is disquieting and challenging, investigating themes of skewed memory through the use of a kind of musical detritus. It may not be for the sonically squeamish, but it's a very good — and very absorbing — album.