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The Tyde
Three's Co.
Rough Trade Records

It's a good thing that beach-loving, surfing, music-makers The Tyde wanted to record an album dedicated to providing a soundtrack for their trips from Echo Park to the beaches of Orange County, because that's precisely what they've done. Their third full-length album (cleverly titled Three's Co. after their previous releases, Once and Twice) does exactly what the band set out to do, nothing more and nothing less.

The Tyde includes three members of the band Beachwood Sparks, and this release, interestingly enough, features Mickey Madden (bassist of MTV favorites Maroon 5) and Conor Deasy (lead vocalist/guitarist of the Irish acoustic pop group The Thrills). Aside from these cameos, Three's Co. is not very memorable. It opens with "Do It Again Again," a nice little pop ditty with jubilant guitars, keyboard fuzz and dreamy female vocals to echo lead singer Darren Rademaker. During their finest moments, The Tyde bear a strong resemblance to a variety of important artists. "Brock Landers" vaguely suggests a Pavement influence, while "Glassbottom Lights" sounds a bit like a down-tempo Sonic Youth track. I would even go out on a limb and say that Tom Petty came to mind while listening to "Ltd. Appeal." The unequivocal highlight of the album is "Separate Cars." Rademaker's voice begins to sound moody and slightly tormented with the sorrowful tune of the flute playing in the distance, but his lyrics suggest a kind of resilience with the words, "I've keep every promise/I've put extra step in my stride to be clear in your eyes/I'm drowned in your worry/I'm up for a fight." It is Rademaker at his most convincing, most profound, and clearly his most tortured. But let's not lie to ourselves: tortured art is most often the greatest art.

The rest of the album is far from tortured. It consists of beachy pop tunes ("County Line") complete with synchronized clapping ("Too Many Kims") and often shallow lyrics ("When you're dreams have let you down/I'm the one who's still around" in "The Pilot"). Tracks like "Aloha Breeze" will especially have listeners wanting to grab a ukulele and a Corona, and hit the beach with Rademaker, just like he invites them to do. Three's Co. is a nice record, and not just in the sense that it sounds nice; it acts nice and it plays nice. It's a great driving-down-the-highway record because it barely skims the surface, both musically and lyrically. Rademaker and the boys are probably satisfied with the head-bobbing and finger-snapping outcome of this album, and in the end, that's what counts. But it would be nice to see The Tyde go a little bit deeper on their next release. Hopefully they won't be afraid to play dirty. I know they've got it in them.

-Allegra Willis

Track Listing:
1. Do It Again Again
2. Brock Landers
3. Separate Cars
4. Too Many Kims
5. Glassbottom Lights
6. The Lamest Shows
7. Ltd. Appeal
8. County Line
9. Aloha Breeze
10. The Pilot
11. Don't Need A Leash

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