3rd Ear Experience – “Incredible Good Fortune” (self-released 2014, CD/Download, Space Rock Productions 2014, LP)

Though new to me, Incredible Good Fortune is the third album by Californian Space and Prog rockers 3rd Ear Experience. The band are a dual guitar, bass, drums, synths and vocals quintet, with numerous guests on keyboards, saxophone, flute, djembe, percussion and guitar.

If you like lengthy stretch out tracks these guys deliver the goods. The 19+ minute Tools opens the set. After a brief intro the band go full flight with a 70s Hard Rock pulse, but with prominent cosmic synth action launching the music into orbit. I love the hip shakin’ rhythmic pulse and throb rocking bass. Classic 70s organ soon starts a funky soulful jam along with the guitars as the synths continue to bubble, pulsate and soar. Around the 10 minute mark the sax joins in and we’re in full blown heavy duty Space Rock that swings mode. The thematic gears continue to shift as the pace eases into a souful sax solo, wailing along a floating, meditative cloud of electronic space. Only in the last 5 minutes are there any vocals, which remind me of Beyond-O-Matic’s Pete Fuhry, and leading into an explosively majestic, space rocking finale with screaming sax and acidic, sailing Psych guitar.

The 18 minute One is next and starts off in freeform freaky electronic space mode, before launching into a hard rocking drive similar to the rhythmic pulse heard on Tools. Aside from the feel of the rhythmic drive we’re getting more into Hawkwind territory now, with hypnotic Middle Eastern vibe vocals, razor sharp guitar licks, churning, everywhere at once electronics, and classic Prog keys. The fun continues on the 17+ minute Parsley, which features high intensity Space Rock with a Prog infusion, plus blitzkriek guitar chords and monstrous licks, pulsating synth throb, chanting vocals, and a nearly non-stop sense of incessantly brain draining swirl. The pace initially mellows, though the general vibe remains intense on the 8 minute White Bee, which consists of hypnotically swirling and drifting soundscapes, haunting gliss-like guitar, African/Caribbean percussion, heavenly chants, and dead ringer for Gilli Smyth narration. And it all works up to a crushing finale that’s like Gong’s Master Builder gone Acid-Space-Stoner-Metal. Finally, the 11+ minute Shaman’s Dream is a volcanic Space-Prog rocker that closes the set. It’s a crushing cosmic rocker with elements of Hawkwind, Ozric Tentacles, and what I’ve come to recognize as the trademark 3rd Ear Experience Hard Rock core.

Jeeeeez, didja get the number of that truck?! I feel like I had the wind knocked out of me. It’s like Hawkwind, The Spacious Mind and Ozric Tentacles, all rolled into one and given a solid 70s Hard Rock backbone and a healthy dose of Prog Rock. On a Holy Shit scale of 1-10, I’ll give this sucker an 11. HIGHEST recommendation.

The CD can be purchased at CDBaby (CLICK HERE), Amazon (CLICK HERE), and Just For Kicks (CLICK HERE)
The digital album can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Spotify, and most other download services.
The vinyl LP will be available mid-November from Space Rock Productions at: http://spacerockproductions.com

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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