Haunting organ tones brought forth by Dylan Schartz, heavy electric guitar from Billy John and thunderous drums from Barry Crabill, make what is 3 Piece Suit. In the winter of 2011 all 3 members of the band found themselves unhappy with their current projects and were looking for a different sound. Dylan Schartz picked up an old organ from a garage sale with his last $4.00 and found himself under the same roof as Billy John. “The first note i heard out of that organ changed the way I felt about music. It changed everything!” said Billy John. Barry had played music with Dylan in the past and was chosen without his knowledge, to play drums…he later accepted!
After countless shows, radio interviews and recording sessions the band signed with Pulp Records in early 2013 and followed on to produce their 14-track, self-titled debut album with Bobby Leonard at Paper Tiger Studios in Columbus, Ohio. While the album was being mastered and pressed, Pulp Records called it quits as a label and left the band with a full length album to release on their own!
It’s hard not to evoke comparisons to other bands when reviewing this album because to be honest, 3 Piece Suit has perfectly captured the essence of several bands that have paved the way 40 years before them. But while playing ‘spot-the-influence’ is a winnable game with this band, that in no way means that their debut album is in any way boring, predictable, or simply a re-hash of previous ideas. Instead, 3 Piece Suit has taken the space rock vibes, the acid-rock tendencies and psychedelic era of the golden years of rock and put them into a blender, creating something exciting and new.
Bursts of heavily effected drumbeats loaded with cymbals, sets the stage for crunchy, galloping guitar riffs, expanding keyboard chords and powerful, reverberating vocals – each song fading away in a cacophony of energizing grooves. A perfect table setter for what is to come next.
At a time where any new music that is not derivative of something that was once great in its own time, is pretty much guaranteed to be garbage. To hear an album of tracks which shine with the finest attributes of classic rock sound without regurgitating them – with its own distinct sonic identity and coherence, is an experience you’re not likely to have on any regular basis.
3 Piece Suit is sheer brilliance in songwriting, execution, and production. The overall sound is peppered with distinctive retro-rock stylistics: fat snare pulses, echoed vocals, crunchy guitar and smooth organ lines, all with stunning precision. At first this album may be overwhelming to younger, uninitiated listeners used to linear electronic beats. But once you’ve familiarized yourself with the albums hard rocking melodics, trippy organ sounds and warm guitar riffs, 3 Piece Suit will begin to feel uniquely comfortable.
Lush, thick and heavily melodic, you will be astounded by standout songs like “Deadman Walking”, “Searching for Strange”, “Blue Screen Blues”, “Pheonix”, “Betty Lynn”, “The Ballad of Nothingness”, “N.E.S” and “Molly Come Down”, but I could just as well single-out each and every track, for there is not one that will not impress you…along with Dylan Schartz’ amazingly dynamic voice!
3 Piece Suit’s closest sounding contemporaries such as The Flaming Lips Toy, Tame Impala and The Black Angels, don’t’ even come anywhere near to the hard-edged psychedelic rock sound that these 3 independent musicians from Springfield deliver. 3 Piece Suit deserve much, much more credit than they have already received. And if the Black Keys could achieve mainstream success, I see no reason why these guys cannot replicate that achievement.