Denison Kimball Trio – Plays Walls in the City

3 out of 5

Produced by: Casey Rice (recorded by)

Label: Skin Graft

Seeing as how it’s a soundtrack to a short film – even if it’s songs retro-fitted to that soundtrack – Duane Denison’s (guitars) and James Kimball’s debut album as an, eh, trio, is as rampantly convincing at moments of its alt-jazz / weirdo-rock revolution as it is unaware and uncaring of your listening at other moments, playing a Twin Peaks-y score to a movie playing in another room.  Tip-tapping its misleadingly gentle way though the opening prelude, we get down to our stutter stepped guitar pickings and percussion tappings over the course of the next five or so tracks.  While this kicks off with the devastatingly down and grooving Cold Light of Day, its a tune pretty much repeated with a few differing fills and beats along the way.  Then One If by Land… is a sudden swerve from any of the other music on the album, something you’d attribute more to the blissed out Tortoise crowd than Skin Grafters; it’s an interesting, if unevolving track, and because of that swerve, sticks out as rather not belonging to the rest of the score.  The remainder of the album backing this up, though, is pretty solid: Romantic Interlude makes good on taking the previous themes and tweaking them into something slower and more moving; Separate Checks speeds it up and gets all jiggy; Blue Corridor takes it the skittery style playing and post-rocks it effectively; with Postlude making good on that ‘rock’ bit by bringing the distortion to the forefront; leading into a solid summary of sorts – moving between echoing slide guitars and that stutter step pace – with the concluding …Two If By Sea.

DK3 certainly made for an intriguing musical concept, but it’s probably best to hear it put to use for something wholly conceived on its own terms.