Highlights: Creep On Creepin’ On, Black Water, Woman, Too Old To Die Young
Canadian songwriter Taylor Kirk writes ominous-sounding, bluesed-down rockabilly songs that sound like they might be a part of a soundtrack to a horror film. But it’s not as if the effect is too creepy (though look at that title or the album's cover) – not as creepy as on Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante in any case. There’s this nice folk-ish warmth to the whole thing, which makes Timber Timbre sound accessible, odd and oddly comforting.
This is Timber Timbre’s fourth release since 2005 (which makes it one album per two years), but I wouldn’t say that Kirk’s songwriting keeps getting better. No: it basically stays the same, with only the slightly more elaborate production distinguishing it from the band’s previous albums. There’s some orchestration here, the familiar faux-lilting tinkling of the piano, ragged guitar lines, depressing lyrics and Kirk’s deep, almost swampy vocals. And that intense, brooding darkness. Even the album’s most romantic song, “Lonesome Hunter”, sounds ramshackle and cold.
The LP is incredibly even. But while nothing sticks out, there’s nothing that spoils the grim fun either. My favourite moment, though, just has to be that pulsating guitar line that keeps tearing through the intense build-up of “Woman”.
I think I’d still take the band’s brief and perfect self-titled record from 2009 over Creep On Creepin’ On, but that’s mainly because of the three unnecessary (and somewhat out of place, frankly) instrumentals included here. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful if slightly sinister classic.