CD Review of Nobody by Three Miles Out
Recommended if you like
Stone Temple Pilots, Fuel,
Night Ranger
Big Dog Head Records
Three Miles Out: Nobody

Reviewed by Greg M. Schwartz

any successful musicians have come out of Cleveland, Ohio – a.k.a. the home of rock n’ roll – but for some reason, successful bands from the North Coast have been few and far between. Three Miles Out makes a bid to break out with their third album Nobody, combining a wall-of-guitar sound with big vocal hooks in an effort to break out of the regional scene and garner some national attention.

The band has opened for acts like Seether, Shinedown, Boston, Styx and Peter Frampton and the hybrid of classic rock influence with a more alternative rock edge permeates the album. Tunes like “Only One,” “Nobody” and “Knock Me Down” have the catchy riffs and big vocal hooks of ‘80s pop metal combined with the harder-edged guitars of the alt-rock explosion of the early ‘90s. “Reaching Out” features a soulful vocal over some melodic but sharp guitars. It sounds kind of like Lifehouse but with more balls, which is a sound that could potentially yield fruitful results.

Guitarists Ken Voll and Mark Knapp share the vocal duties and both can certainly belt out a tune. Drummer Kevin Jackson and bassist Mick Corcoran are solid, but it’s the guitars that dominate the album – every song is packed with big chords and catchy riffs, while tunes like “Knock Me Down,” “Peace of Mind,” “Perfect” and “Too Far” feature hot, melty guitar solos. The band has got the hooky verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format down, perhaps a bit too much. There’s not a lot of sonic or stylistic diversity going on here, but there sure is a lot of rock solid all-American riffage and one sing-along hook after another.

“Ordinary” shakes things up a bit with a melodic mid-tempo ballad about wanting to turn the clock back, that features an extra-soulful vocal and a catchy, compelling chorus with acoustic guitars that sounds like a potential hit. “Master Plan” gets a little heavier than the rest of the album, with bassist Corcoran laying down a mean groove and the guitars taking on a sharper edge that should get heads banging. The rest of the album mostly falls into a standard melodic hard rock format between these two extremes. It would be interesting to hear the band explore those edges further.

The guitarists seem to prefer a fairly dry set-up and could maybe stand to invest in some effects pedals so as to vary their sound a bit more. Some players prefer a dry sound, but if Jimi Hendrix felt that he needed lots of effects to explore his creative potential, then don’t all guitarists need them? With two talented vocalists, some more harmonies could also help push the songs higher. The boys in the band have some talent and what sounds like plenty of creative potential, but they need to push that creative envelope a bit further if they want to break away from the pack.

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