"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Krappa

Monday, 16 May 2011

Timber Timbre - 'Cedar Shakes' & 'Medicinals'

I have already rigorously masturbated over Timber Timbre in a couple of other posts (found here), and my love for him/them led me to dig a little deeper. After a lot of hunting, I managed to track down his first two, much folkier albums: Cedar Shakes and Medicinals. (Don't tell anyone, and I definitely don't condone using this route to listen to the albums at all, but they can be found here and here respectively.)

Anyway, Cedar Shakes is lo-fi. Very lo-fi. Volumes jump up and down and there's quite a bit of white noise, but it doesn't take away from the beauty of the songs and, if anything, just makes you feel even luckier to hear them. As with later albums, there's a lot packed into the songs instrumentally, lyrically and atmospherically. There's something solemnly religious about much of Timber Timbre's music (don't worry, not in a bad/mad way), and it especially shines through in Cedar Shakes. On tracks like the gospel-eqsue 'Mercy' you can almost hear his clenched fist passionately shaking at the sky.

Medicinals is also lo-fi, but it seems like a lot more time has been put into making it sound right. It definitely does sound right, and in the last few weeks it has become my favourite Timber Timbre album, even beating the properly released, most recent two. Almost every aspect of it is perfect, there are brilliant lyrics, amazing melodies and arrangements that are even better than the awesome ones on its predecessor. There's also emotional variety: 'It Comes Back To Haunt Us' makes is reminiscent of a tragically beautiful Edith Piaf song while 'Oh Messiah' borrows from 'Twist and Shout', and makes me want to do just that.

Someone really, really needs to re-release these albums and kick up a fuss about them. They are absolutely brilliant. If I could, I would spend money on them, just for the sake of it.

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