Blind Pilot – 3 Rounds and a Sound

Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound

Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound

Showcasing influences that sound somewhere in between The Shins, Iron & Wine and Neutral Milk Hotel, Blind Pilot‘s music comes off as much folksy, as it does poppy. Sensibilities as these go a long way in a musical spectrum that reaches for anything gently soothing. And singer/guitarist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski’s debut, 3 Rounds and a Sound, employs all of the aforesaid in solid style.

Operating in a Damien Rice-like manner, the band’s music seems intimate while still maintaining a sense of flourishing confidence. Like much of the other music found on this release, “Go On, Say It” delivers the pair’s recipe for success: acoustic guitars, quirky lyrics, double-tracked vocals and the occasional string flurries. As Nebeker sings, “How I will keep you, just as I left you” the music’s heady vibe is a crafty retort. And much like “I Buried a Bone” and its awkward metaphors, the perception is all up to the listener.

The Portland-based duo started making music three years ago and released 3 Rounds and a Sound as a twosome. However, since then they’ve beefed up their band with additional instrumentalists and singers. So in other words, who knows how much longer they will sound exactly as they do on here. A sweet, lulling ballad like “The Bitter End” is a swooning, peacefully arranged song and it finds the tandem working together, delivering one cohesive sound. And the album’s following song, the closing title track, finds Nebeker sounding so much like Rice, it’s astonishing.

Elsewhere, the poppier side of the band is in full swing on “The Story I Heard,” outfitted with yelping chorus lines and a strumming verse line, it’s easy to hear The Shins influence. And on “One Red Thread,” the presence of a vibraphone ends up being one stunningly successful choice. Chugging drums drive the music, with only the mallets and more timely guitars to back-up Nebeker’s strident singing.

If this is only a sign of things to come, then it should be more of the same solid releases from Blind Pilot. Regardless of whether or not a full band will affect their change-any type of modification could go either way-many more fans will surely come along. There’s always a start and when it’s done in such a talented approach, one can only hope for better and richer releases for years to come.

Expunged Records