Three Mile Pilot “Maps” EP | Temporary Residence Limited
San Diego’s Three Mile Pilot are a highly influential band from the 90′s whose sound is still finding its way into modern indie and experimental rock music. As a connecting force of musicians who would later go on to capture the worlds attention with bands like Pinback and The Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot broke their 13 year seal of silence with the release of the 2xLP full length The Inevitable Past Is The Future Forgotten. Released in 2010 on Temporary Residence Limited, the same label whose now taken on releases from both Pinback and The Black Heart Procession, The Inevitable Past Is The Future Forgotten was a huge gift for fans of the groups work over the last two decades and has not left our rotation since its release. Two years later and the trio known as Three Mile Pilot is giving the world a new musical treat in the EP Maps. Experimental guitar pop music has been changing its design for over 30 years now and Three Mile pilot flirt with a golden, rich and honest emanation of tight grooves and some of the catchiest melodies in modern experimental rock music.
Five tracks encompass the ride that is Maps and is somewhat too short for how good each track is. Starting with the piece “Long Way Up”, the bass is turned up all the way in the mix, the drums are as crisp as can be and the synth and guitar has a really fun yet sophisticated quality to it. The music is mixed tightly close together, allowing all of the instruments and vocal elements to converge in a slightly cluttered but very beautiful way. I always love recordings where you really hear each tracking piece of the song pushed together as tightly as possible, leaving a very big sense of the band as a whole and not just vocals or one element. The entire track is littered with a lively and abundant feeling of groove that never ends until the track is finished. There is a section in the middle of the piece that allows for the guitar to fully embellish itself and the vocals rise out of this state gloriously. It sounds a lot like the quirky and complicated state of music that Pinback is best known for.
The song that really makes me come back to Maps for more is the song “This Escape”. Glistening and minimally placed guitars, a never ending bass groove and really colorful drumming with piano accompaniment, this has the largest and biggest sound on the entire album and is possibly the greatest song I have heard from the band. I can’t help but think of John Frusciante when I hear this track as the vocals, bass, guitar, piano, vocals and drums create a really special mood. It’s one of those must hear for yourself type of songs.
Three Mile Pilot are what I’d like to call an illustrious group whose Southern, CA foundations can still be heard in their sound among scores of other bands 20 years after their inception. Not many bands in the rock idiom have touring units that stick around this long and Three Mile Pilot looks like they have a lot more to stay before it’s all said and done. Maps is a great record Brooklyn’s Temporary Residence Limited and one that I see a lot of people enjoying. A must hear record that you don’t want to miss checking out.