?In Three Houses? is another great blast from Lexington, Kentucky?s reigning kings and queens of great-big-clouds-of-clattery-wuuh. This little gem contains two takes on the title. The first is a mere three minute long a capella and bongo driven sing along that picks up some sweet 1970?s crime drama siren synthesizer breakdown in the middle. In an abrupt turnaround, the second track is a great hulking monster, barreling out of the gate with a flurry of drums, horns, chattering voices and scraping violins. Primal, raw, and unhinged it?s almost the exact opposite of its more composed predecessor. Soon the beast spends itself and settles into a seesawing lurch of billowing foghorn and reverberating deep space sonar blasts as violin and clarinet wail and snap at its heels. This settles into a gentle throb that is taken up first by the strings, then the horns as the piece becomes as spare as it was frenzied only minutes before. This flawless transition is a neat trick and showcases the group?s marvelous range and control. Eventually, the drums return in much more restrained fashion urging a slow rhythmic trudge that picks up momentum as it assimilates more instruments in its path before smoothing itself into drone hovering on the edge between fluid and vapor. The piece reaches a calm finale like waves lapping at the posts under a pier.
There may be no such thing as the one essential Eyes And Arms Of Smoke release, but you really can?t go wrong picking up ?In Three Houses.? 8/10 -- Steve Rybicki (17 October, 2005)