Record Review - "Hot Dreams" Timber Timbre 2014

Scott Leftridge

Canada’s indie folk project, Timber Timbre, has always possessed a cinematic quality.  Filled with a creeping moodiness, at times foreboding, there is usually a moment of calm to tell you, “It’s only a dream. Maybe.” With “Hot Dreams” the band dive deeper into the surreal. 

This, their fifth album, comes on the heels of founder/leader Taylor Kirk’s rejected score for the film “The Last Exorcism Part II” and it’s surely the better for it.   The music this time out is larger and more expansive than before while reigning in some of the bombast of 2011’s “Creep On Creepin’ On,” returning to the stripped-down nervous tension of 2009’s “Timber Timbre.”

Album opener, “Beat the Drum Slowly,” drifts through the ether of the Twilight Zone until punctuated with syncopated passages that echo King Crimson’s early performances of Holst’s “Mars: Bringer Of War.”  Titular track, “Hot Dreams,” touches on the dreamy R&B sound of a David Lynch love story, even introducing a touch of soulful saxophone.  “Curtains?!” brings in a twanging guitar and insistent beat that suggests a narrow escape on a desert highway either in a Honda Civic or on horseback.  “Bring Me Simple Men” lets you catch your breath as the horizon starts to tilt into the queasy, uneasy instrumental “Resurrection Drive Part II.”

“Grand Canyon” has the sound and feel of a late period John Ford film, a noir western in Cinemascope while “The New Tomorrow” heightens the tension of the third act with a funky groove and squalls from the yawning chasm.  “Run for Me Darling” brings the thundering climax as the camera cranes back through the ruins of the instrumental, final track, “The Three Sisters.” 

An album that is very much the album experience.  Great songs made even better when listened to from start to finish.  Remarkable.

Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSxZy_7Ps90

Scott Leftridge is a volunteer with KVMR