Blind Pilot
"3 Rounds and a Sound"

(Expunged Records 2008)Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound

The bicycle powered Blind Pilot put together the perfect album for the quiet tapping of a rain sprinkled morning. While listening to the steady and uplifting guitar, and smooth vocals, I felt myself drifting off. Maybe it's my own Northwest prejudice, but I could almost feel the light mist damp on my jeans with the dirty hint of decomposing cedar in the background of my mind through tracks like "Two Towns From Me" and "The Story I Heard." I imagined these daydreams not because the songs described the scenes, but because Blind Pilot's folk-pop sound is full of a similar feeling of contrasting peace and sadness.

The quiet Northwest feeling is deep in Israel Nebeker's voice, which is tinged with powerful nostalgia that froze me in reflection. What really defines their music is how that nostalgic voice is complimented by the contemplative yet uplifting instrumentals. On their own, either would surely get a bit dull, but together, the vocals and instrumentals made my ears perk up and stay perked.

That topic brings me my big complaint with this album -- as an album there isn't much progression from song to song. The songs mostly sound the same with the instrumentals altered slightly here and there or with a new instrument thrown in -- as in "I Buried a Bone." In "Go On, Say It," Ryan Dobrowski speeds up the beat, but the rest of the song's components are no shock to listeners who have heard the other songs on the album.

The album finishes not with "The Bitter End," which is chock full of the distinct imagery that really characterizes Blind Pilot, but with the song that the album is named for. This song, "3 Rounds and a Sound," has that same distinct but delicate imagery; although, more so than "The Bitter End," it really shows off Blind Pilot's mass appeal.


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