Timber Timbre - Bowery Ballroom, New York - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Timber Timbre - Bowery Ballroom, New York

by Kevin Orton Rating:10 Release Date:2012-01-31

The last two Timber Timbre records have given me what I’ve been begging for from today’s indie bands. Atmosphere, suspense, melody, a literate tongue and cheek humor. Not to mention a refreshing lack of self-consciousness and pretention. I could not wait to see them live and expectations were high.

I'm happy to say Timber Timbre delivered skillfully, evoking the odd, menacing twilight underworld of their albums. The stage was dark but for a noir-ish neon sign reading 'Hot Dreams', like something you might find in a David Lynch movie, and at apt times flashing on and off, effectively winking its eye at the audience.

Frontman Talyor Kirk kicked the set off alone on stage crooning 'Run From Me' in his smoky drawl. Suitably warped, at heart it’s a high lonesome country song, the kind Hank Williams Sr would have been at home with. Eventually the band crept onstage, joining in mid-song. It could be me, but by song’s end, I swear they were paying sly homage to Roy Orbison’s 'Running Scared'.

Throughout the set the lights were low and dim. The band dressed unassumingly. The message was clear: “This isn’t about us, it’s about the music”. Unlike a lot of frontmen, Taylor Kirk modestly stood to the side of the stage, often cast in shadow, which allowed for the Music and the songs to take center-stage.

Most of the set consisted of Hot Dreams with deep forays into Creep on Creepin’ on, in addition to some stirring, unfamiliar numbers. Taylor’s humor came out in his Elvis-like crooning on 'Creep On' and 'Black Water'. At other times, he played it deadpan, bringing Leonard Cohen to mind.

That's not to say he lacked passion or emotion. Quite the opposite, as his performance of 'Low Commotion' showed. And despite Kirk’s humble an unassuming manner, from eerie keyboard atmospherics to a bass saxophone solo, the band proved themselves to be quite the showmen, not only meeting expectations but exceeding them.

So if there were any question before, now its official: Timber Timbre are my favorite band.

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