T-minus Band, Four Legs to Three

T-minus Band is known for three things: 1) that it’s a true DIY project if ever there were one; 2) that it’s all done by one guy in Alabama named Troy T.; and 3) that nobody’s actually heard of T-minus Band. The only reason we know about T-minus Band is because Troy sent us his CD when the first album came out, we loved it, and now he’s followed it up with a new one, Four Legs to Three. The smart record reviewer would call it a ‘sophomore effort.’ The not-so-smart reviewer would go straight for the jugular and call it a ‘new one.’

So what’s this elusive T-minus Band sound like? Good question. The most obvious influence people would have attributed to his first album, Technostalgia, might have been: ‘Oh, I really don’t know.’ And they would have been right, since it was a totally bizarre pastiche of styles and genres that even attempting to qualify the album in any defined way was an exercise in pointlessnessitude. That is, the album defined a genre in itself; it was a neologism set to music. In fact, that album looked over the history of pop records, took what it liked, dropped what it didn’t, and deemed it an album. Was it a ‘concept’ album? Maybe. Didn’t say one way or the other in the liner notes, but still…you don’t need a blue satin sergeant-major’s outfit to be a concept album.

Now, almost two years later, Troy T. introduces the new sound of T-minus Band. Ask those same people we did before what influence this album picks up on, and you’ll most likely hear: ‘This sounds like Brian Wilson.’ A-ha! Now we’ve got something to go on, a real cornerstone to describing an album. Otherwise we’d be talking about key changes, lyrics, and arrangements. Nope, not us, because NOW we’ve got license to employ the tried-and-true THIS SOUNDS LIKE THIS method of describing a record. You know it:

‘sounds like a Cuban Chuck D’

‘sounds like Beck’s creepy cousin’

‘sounds like Mercury Rev and Spiritualized’

So, to sum: Four Legs to Three sounds like Brian Wilson.

Which is to say that, when you hear this, you might think there’s a big hit of Brian Wilson swirling around, way high no doubt, in the center of every song. Which is also to say that this album is a lot more focused than Technostalgia, eschewing the rampant genre-hopping for a core sound upon which all the songs express different takes. Ahh, yes, Brian Wilson: That’s it.

But then, why one of the songs, ‘Invisimel,’ sounds like a culling of a bunch of sickeningly catchy and lovable ‘80s TV theme songs, while making the whole of it just totally listenable and GREAT is just totally inexplicable. Maybe that’s just the genius of Troy T. at work again.

Ahh, yes, Troy T.: THAT’S it.

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Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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