CD Review

Three Ton Gate - "Vanishing Century"

By Marcus Pan

Vanishing CenturyOut of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - which at the time I am writing this is about to get stepped on by Hurricane Floyd I'm afraid - is the groovy and subdued band of Three Ton Gate. Three Ton Gate is headed up by Scott Mitchell, known also as Daisy Berkowitz - previously the guitarist of the infamous Marilyn Manson. Scott is also involved in the band Jack Off Jill. In Three Ton Gate he handles all instruments, programming and vocals on most tracks. He is helped out somewhat by the girly voice of Tyreah James when necessary. The sound he garners is a groovy and bassy beat with feedback ridden guitars over top and standard metronomic drumwork. Occasionally a bit of static-style noise is laced beneath the rest of the sounds to achieve an experimental effect. Vanishing Century is circa 1997 and comes from Carducci Thrift Music in conjunction with BMI. The first official EP release of Three Ton Gate, there are seven tracks here, but two of them are instrumental versions of previous tracks.

Vanishing Century opens up with Honor, a feedback laden piece with background squeals like a guitar complaining. Scott sings this one with a nonchalance and two-note melody, excepting the chorus which, while two-note, is in a higher octave. The guitar occasionally will rip in with a low-octave tearing sound. It's quite generic other than the squealing pig in the background. Then again on track 5 is the instrumental version of Honor, squeals and all. Bit of a sliding static sound is added to the underground network of instrument lines here. But otherwise it's the same song with a louder guitar than before (there's no vocals this time so something had to be made to stand out). Also filled with noisy guitar is the second track, X Files Girl, only this time we are lavished by the young, girly voice of Tyreah. The song moves a bit faster than the previous with a punchier and groovier bass. I kind of like Tyreah's voice though - it's almost cute. I also want to mention the next track, Hollywood Heaven, simply because the bass line Scott uses here is refreshing. It's almost jazz-like and works very well with the rest of the instrumentation, adding an interesting eccentricity. The song would be much less without it. To close the CD (except for another instrumental remake of another song) is Head, a fast-moving piece with a plethora of guitar (multiple tracks of guitars, so it seems) and another punchy, bouncy and fun bass line.

Three Ton Gate is a bit on the generic side of the noisy and angsty industro-punk groove as popularized by such previous acts as Jesus & Mary Chain. The bass lines Scott creates are the highlight of his music - they're fast, moving, eccentrically arranged. Tyreah's cutesy little girl vocal style on X Files Girl and Keep Me Warm are also nice, but otherwise Three Ton Gate gives us the reheated meat of post-punk noise.

Contact Information:
Post: Scorpion Rising Recordings, 1402 E. Las Olas Blvd., #105, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 33301
Web: http://www.spookykids.com/threetongate/
Web: http://www.geocities.com/Baja/Dunes/3927/