Timber Timbre, Last Ex | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre, Last Ex 

When: Thu., Feb. 19, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $20
Weirdo Montreal art-pop band Timber Timbre expunged some of the more overt traces of rock ’n’ roll nostalgia from its sound on last year’s Hot Dreams (Arts & Crafts), but the tension between that nostalgia and creepiness—created by purring saxophones and lush strings—still pulses at its heart. Singer Taylor Kirk remains the focal point, and he comes off as a washed-up lounge singer crooning to a crowd of indifferent sots; his medicated delivery seems less an affectation than a sign of genuine weariness with the world. The new record has songs where the music doesn’t clash with Kirk’s vocals—on “The New Tomorrow” the group sounds like an econo version of Tindersticks with a nasty Ennio Morricone fixation—but I still like it best when what falls out of his mouth curdles the easygoing grooves sashaying behind him. On the title track, for instance, he sings, “I want to follow through, follow through, follow through / On all of my promises and threats to you.” In the side project Last Ex, an instrumental duo, two of the band’s multi-instrumentalists—Olivier Fairfield and Simon Trottier—provide something of a skeletal version of the Timber Timbre sound, minus the sweeteners. On their eponymous album, released last year by Constellation Records, the pair carve out lean Krautrock grooves smeared with wobbly keyboards, woozy synthesizers, speed-manipulated tapes, and palsied guitars. —Peter Margasak
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