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ER, HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE THAT? Patience is a virtue. So is diligence. Some three years after an initial brainstorm, Brett Alvino's quest for a sound has been achieved in the band Trip El Ecks XXX. His search started in his later days as singer for Headtrip Window. He knew what he was looking for -- an amalgam of styles and flavors, a collision of metal, soul, hip-hop and electronica -- that would somehow be experimental and accessible at once. A tall order.

The members of Headtrip Window parted ways, and Alvino set out to develop that sound. Three years (and scads of musicians) later, it has come together. Trip El Ecks XXX is Alvino, Headtrip drummer Eddie Spinalo, Ted Fenn (keyboards, samples), J.J. Jones (bass), and Cory Anderson and Scott Pyatt (guitars).

The band has existed somewhat under the local radar, spending most time writing, recording and mixing. And the labels and other industry folk have been listening ... and calling.

The Urge turned Trip El Ecks XXX on to entertainment lawyer Patti Jones, and she's put the band's recent recordings into the right hands. The first such effort was the full-length Fryin' Ballz with Electric Mayhem, a slick production that defies its recording budget and schedule. Those industry folks liked what they heard but had the all-too-frequent comment: "We love it, but we don't know what to do with it." The disc, Alvino says, "has everybody calling, but they're calling with question marks." On Jones' advice, the band took unreleased tracks from the Fryin' Ballz sessions (it was originally going to be a double disc) and focused on crafting a few songs with broad appeal. The result: a demo called A Thinn Space of Cool. The demo is now in the hands of more and different industry folks, and "the game" (Alvino's phrase) begins.

Trip El Ecks XXX views the Thinn Space demo as their last swat at the majors. If this doesn't pan out, Alvino hopes to take the band on the road with the support of an indie label (which have also come courting, by the way).

In the meantime, you should check out Trip El Ecks XXX's releases and catch them at the Galaxy on Friday, Feb. 19.

-- Pat Malecek

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