Album Review: timing’s Debut Album, “Storm’s Coming”
VALLEY FALLS – Releasing their debut album on Feb. 3rd, timing has put out a fantastic record with Storm’s Coming. Despite being short in length, the songs on this album are all really well-arranged and borrow from diverse genres, such as prog-rock, folk, and delta blues. Featuring a low-voiced register, and instruments that step forward and recede – never stepping on each other’s sonic space within the tune – timing has really crafted something quite compelling!
Starting the record off is “The River.” A low volume synth begins, and as it swells in volume, the synth begins to degrade a bit, and warble, giving way to piano and guitar. Continuing to fade, the synth gives way to the other instrumentation, and soon the vocals are introduced. This song features a gripping and eerie chord progression that serve as a great vehicle and bedrock for the equally eerie vocals to rest on. Electric instrumentation and bombast soon become prominent, while the intensity of the vocals more or less stay the same; a nice contrast. For this song, the vocal melody is often doubled an octave up, with the higher part being held further back in the mix. Doing so just adds more to the overall ghostly and haunting vibe. The album title, interestingly enough, is contained within this song’s lyric. By the conclusion of the track, listeners are well-armed with what to expect from the record, and that’s what makes this song such an effective opening number.
Seemingly blending sounds from progressive rock greats of the 1970’s and early 1980’s – the gated reverb on the snare drum is powerful as hell – “Drifting,” track two, is somewhat of a tonal shift in the album, that still maintains the feeling of the record. And, like the title implies, listeners might get a drifting internal sensation as they enjoy the tune, brought upon by the warbling arpeggiated synths, and the cleanly performed guitars.
There’re some really cool lyrical nuggets of gold to be mined in this album. For example, take the opening line “I rode in on the horse I bet against” from “Fair Enough,” track three. The lyric instantly drew this author’s ears in, as it’s an odd turn of phrase that somehow seems so familiar. While this track has more of a roots-rock feel, it settles right in quite nicely. The drone synth ending is reminiscent of past endings of the record’s previous tunes.
“The King,” track four, opens with an acoustic delta blues-type of riff, which is accompanied by distant drum strikes. This track definitely has an ear-grabbing intro. After the first chorus, more instrumentation is added to the song, and the drums become busier. The halfway point of the song features a nice slide solo, and this instrument soon finds itself incorporated into the rest of the track. Yet another solid piece of music.
While the entire record has great songs, if asked which one was my least favorite, I’d point to track five, “Overcasting.” Changing things up quite a bit with this one, it’s a slow-shuffle song, filled with lush instrumentation – including pedal steel – and some great harmonies. That being said, for this listener, the song may plod along than it needs to, but the decaying outro is a nice touch to the arrangement, as it adds an ethereal vibe to the overall track.
Great records have great “book-ends” so-to-speak, and that is certainly the case for Storm’s Coming. The title, and closing track, features lightly played percussion and deftly performed fingerpicking-style acoustic guitar that begin the song. Soon, drums and pedal steel are introduced, and a lot of what is being played reminds this listener of such greats as Jorma Kaukonen and company. During the latter half of the tune, the drums pick up a much more defined country and western type of pattern. It’s a great little number that resolves the tension beset by the album’s tone in previous songs and the lack of lyrics center around various anxieties is a great way to symbolize a type of “sun coming up” scenario. A fantastic way to end the album!
The band, timing, have taken no time (yes, I know I groaned at the pun, myself!) establishing themselves as solid songwriters and arrangers. Storm’s Coming is a thoroughly enjoyable listen from start-to-finish. Check it out for yourself here!
As if C&W stands for Cosmic and Western. I found this a very interesting listen.
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