Numbers / Timber!!!
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, the new long player by Fort Wayne’s post punk heroes TIMBER!!! is an explosion of guitar squalls, powerhouse vocals and a one-two punch rhythm section that will leave you breathless and wanting more long after the album’s half hour noise assault has finished pummeling your ear drums. TIMBER!!! have been hitting the practice space and stages in the area for a couple years now. Last year they gave us an appetizer in the form of the EP Twenty-Five Thirty-Five, a great collection of tunes that showed what they were capable of. It left us, the listeners, wanting more. Ask and ye shall receive. After some practices, studio time and the occasional band barbecue, we now have Numbers as the main course.
“Waste Away” starts the album out with a post punk roar. Jagged guitars, driving bass and a steady rhythm make for a solid foundation that lets Kendra Johnson introduce us to her lioness roar. This girl can wail with the best of ’em. She has the art school smarts of Kim Gordon, the lower east side grit and glamour of Debbie Harry and the unhinged Goth goddess twinkle of Siouxie Sioux, all waiting to pounce our ears at any moment. That’s not to say this is a one-woman show. With Ben Larson manning the pedal board and pulling squalls, squeals and razor-sharp riffage from his guitar like a possessed Tom Verlaine on a caffeine binge, Jason Williams laying a bass foundation that would put most four-string twangers to shame and Jason Davis beating his drums into submission, this is a “band” in the classic sense. Everyone pulls his or her weight. Everyone has a purpose. But enough about the awesomeness of TIMBER!!! What about those songs?
“Kaleidoscope” is a chunk of post punk euphoria. Never letting up it’s Mission of Burma angst, Johnson sings over a sweeping guitar and Williams constantly moving bass line. This is what we’ve been missing since 1982’s Vs. “Rocket” comes down a bit, only to build up into a frothy, pensive release. “Flush” continues the ear assault with Johnson displaying some massive chutzpah. She can chew a mic with the best of ’em. “Frisco Disco” is a fun little, dare I say, almost pop song. There’s a very playful, Blondie-like “Rapture” vibe to this song. It’s a very cool song that should be playing on college radio as I type this. “Lackluster” ends the album on a hazy note. My Bloody Valentine fronted by Hope Sandoval – that’s the best way to describe this quite beautiful closing track. You’ll want to hear it again and again.
Numbers is yet another stellar local release. TIMBER!!! have done everything right with this album. They’ve got the songs, the musicianship and just the right amount of complexity to keep you coming back for more. Be sure to check them out live at their LP release show on September 28 at CS3. Show starts at 10 p.m.