The Discordian Trio
discordiantrio.com RECOMMENDED ****
First things first: The Discordian Trio are not, or were not, an industrial band from Melbourne in Australia formed in the mid-1990s from the ashes of Soulscraper. That’s Discordia. No, they’re a trio formed in Edinburgh four years ago, a guitar trio that last year got picked for BBC Introducing and whose two earlier records in a short space of time The Discordian Trio and the amusingly titled The Discordian Trio Presents The Discordian Trio indicate a band not afraid of hard work and commitment in recording music to disc. The mysterious title “Hazlos Manzanos" needs some sort of background, so bassist Craig Macfadyen helpfully explains: “We decided to name the album after the guy who recorded us, Carlos Manzanos Linares. It’s a sort of nickname he has for himself that doesn’t actually make sense in Spanish other than sounding a bit like his real name (I think it loosely translates as ‘make them apples’!).”
Although the recording engineer was in Spain, Macfadyen continues, going through a “difficult time” with his family, “he came back to Edinburgh for a few days especially to record us and we were quite touched by that.”
Macfadyen, who with guitarist Jack Weir separately writes the tunes, and the non-writing drummer Richard Kass are Discordian, and they’re joined by bass clarinettist Pete Furniss on ‘Goggly Gogol’ and ‘The Dream Circean’ (the name of an Aleister Crowley story).
We find them at the outset of the album in a mellow but disguisedly free form mood on ‘Nothing Unknown’, and then the album takes a road less travelled into both improv and free rock on ‘Goggly Gogol’.
Weir sounds like John Abercrombie a bit when he opens ‘The Shuffler’s Puppet’, yet well thought-through variety abounds, for instance ‘Dwarkish Intentions’ at the end has an opening bass line that instantly recalls (although it’s the notes in a different order) Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Link’ from Rumours. We should all be hearing rumours about The Discordian Trio, favourable ones, though. They’ve made some memorable apples here on a startlingly accomplished and enjoyable album.
Hazlos Manzanos is just released. The Discordian Trio play Edinburgh’s Jazz Bar on 9 January
The Discordian Trio, pictured above