Review: Timber Timbre tackles the madness of 2016

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2016 was the year of the unexpected. Frank Ocean came out of the desert. Brangelina broke up. Donald Trump won the election. Timber Timbre is inspired by these bizarre turns Sincerely, Future Pollution, a melancholy but satisfying prediction of the future.

“2016 was a very difficult time to watch,” lead singer Taylor Kirk said in the album announcement. “I hate to admit that I normally express more sensitivity than political concern, but I think the tone and the result on the record is absolute chaos and confusion. When we were recording, the premonition was that the events we saw unfold were an elaborate hoax. But the mockery of our food system has spawned a lot of dark and dystopian thoughts and ideas. And then it all happened, while everyone was on Instagram. The sewers overflowed.

Interestingly, the opening track, “Velvet Gloves & Spit” provides no prelude to the angst of the rest of the release, choosing instead a sophisticated composition of reed instruments and layered rhythms. The song still maintains the album’s urgent message but departs from the main style of the release as Kirk’s powerful voice is used strategically to evoke some positivity.

Judging by the title of the album, it’s clear the band want their listeners to pay more attention to their world. Otherwise, desperation is imminent. Sincerely, Future Pollution is a dismal twist on folk rock music whose eerie instrumentals capture the dark themes of the release. “It’s all fleshed out, fleshed out and forgotten now,” Kirk sings on “Sewer Blues,” highlighting the regret his listeners presumably felt when they saw the consequences of political apathy come into play.

A multitude of strange juxtapositions are present in the lyrics of the group. Fuzzy bass guitars season Kirk’s voice, as the band come together to maliciously perform desperate harmonies. The group presents a jazzy soul and refreshing rhythm on “Bleu Nuit”, which manages to stand out on such an atmospheric album with a robotic effect used on vocals. Kirk utters such dismal lyrics to amplify their effect, scaring his listeners with every serious word.

Songs like “Western Questions” show ambition with an impressive, reverberating guitar solo that allows the track to quickly transition from feelings of true depression to cautious youth.

Timber Timbre’s music oscillates between bloody, free-spirited psychedelic pop and dark, twisted Gothic rock. Sometimes the structure of the music seems to be derived from well-known rock bands of the 1970s, borrowing the swinging funk of Electric Light Orchestra on tracks like “Grifting”, while mimicking the futuristic and heavily synthesized arrangements of Pink Floyd. The dark side of the moon for the majority of the 40 minute outing.

Each song finds its own identity, following a musical structure that incorporates its own playful decomposition. “Skin Tone” is a sharp display of sweet but sinister music. A variety of synths come together to form a sweet and lovely melody.

The band, known for their dreary, sometimes even ominous sound, have always shown a willingness to step into uncharted musical territory, but some moments on this album are familiar. Kirk’s husky voice, sounding like a cross between Edward Sharpe and Andrew VanWyngarden, contributes to the downtempo of the album’s emotional track. In its most flattering moments, it’s complimentary, even entertaining, and at worst, it’s slow, stopping the ardor behind the music. However, Sincerely, Future Pollution is an impressive example of the band’s refined talent in creating depressing yet very lively music.


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