May 27, 1998 at 12:00 am
If you're looking for a damn fine night out at the bar without all that pesky expense and travel, Chelsea trio 3 Speed is here to help you lock the door and crack open that bottle on top of the fridge. 3 Speed takes its time working through a set of tunes, finely honed during the band's innumerable live gigs. The sound lives somewhere between rock, country, near-rockabilly and a sort of top-shelf, progressive bar rock without ever really getting bogged down or tied up in any of the genres individually. The entire collection proffered by Mssrs. Mike Popovich (drums), Ben Vermeylen (guitar) and Garth Girard (bass, stand-up style), rings with an adventurous enthusiasm for stretching beyond the usual rock trio constraints. This is particularly evident on "Walking Around the Sun," a track that embraces a dark roots-rock vision in its muted, scary verse and explodes in its chorus, Vermeylen's hollow-body guitar chopping away at the speakers. All this and you don't have to pick a designated driver, either. Well done, gents.