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Tim Barry - 28th & Stonewall (Cover Artwork)

Tim Barry

Tim Barry: 28th & Stonewall28th & Stonewall (2010)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It seems like only yesterday we were posting news of Avail frontman Tim Barry and his initial excursions as a solo artist, yet here we are with yet another new full-length from him (his fourth in five years if we're counting 2006's Laurel St. Demo): 28th & Stonewall. And while Stonewall is probably .


It seems like only yesterday we were posting news of Avail frontman Tim Barry and his initial excursions as a solo artist, yet here we are with yet another new full-length from him (his fourth in five years if we're counting 2006's Laurel St. Demo): 28th & Stonewall. And while Stonewall is probably the least strongest of Barry's output thus far, it's solid enough that it can hardly be perceived as a regression.

Much like "Texas Cops" from 2008's Manchester and "Trash Inspirations" from 2006's Rivanna Junction, "Thing of the Past" serves as a slightly upbeat and competent opening track, anchored primarily by the boot scootin' electric guitar stylings of Josh Small. The brash and brutally honest demeanor Barry takes on when he's performing these types of songs is when he's at his best; other prime examples of this from Stonewall would have to include the bluesy, horn-driven "Will Travel," the extremely passionate "Short G'Bye" (the conviction in Barry's voice in the chorus when yelling "I tried" is particularly goosebump-inducing), and the one-two closing punch of "(Memento Mori)" and "Bus Driver," the latter of which gets fairly rowdy thanks to some strategically-placed harmonica and gang vocals (yes, really) that could very well replace "Dog Bumped" as Barry's de facto set closer.

28th & Stonewall is a bit hit-and-miss when reaching for softer, more introspective textures, but when it's on, it's really on. Barry's piano ballads have always been great, and the heart-wrenching "Moving on Blue" is certainly no exception; Barry's vocal performances have steadily improved over the years, and on "Blue" it's clear he's able to carry a song with little more than his vocal cords with relative ease. He takes a similarly somber approach on "Bozeman," where the speed (or lack thereof) match the tone of the lyrics perfectly and the lap steel guitar (presumably played by Small as well) is a welcome, if familiar touch.

The aforementioned misses on Stonewall are twofold and directly related to each other; at nearly five minutes apiece, both "Prosser's Gabriel" and "With Ease I Leave" drag quite a bit (although the former tackles a tricky subject admirably, it could be about a minute shorter without sacrificing any of its gravity) and make the album seem a lot heavier on slower songs than it actually is--the ratio of slow to fast songs here is probably 7:5, depending on who you ask--which ultimately hurts its replay value. Hardly a fatal blow by any means, but devastating enough to rank this record below both Manchester and Rivanna Junction in terms of overall quality. Regardless, there's more than enough good songs on 28th & Stonewall to keep Barry's growing legacy intact.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Chuck Ragan - Gold CountryThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDear Landlord - Dream HomesThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimTim Barry - ManchesterBanner Pilot - CollapserNothington - Roads, Bridges and RuinsThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ZachLeg (September 8, 2010)

finally gave this a listen. i'm really digging it.

encorp (July 16, 2010)

Some of you guys think far too much about shit that doesn't matter.

Tim was in Toronto the other day, despite how fucking retarded the crowd was, he gave his whole heart.

New album kicks ass. Keep it up Tim.

telegraphrocks (February 12, 2010)

"His best effort since Rivanna Junction"

What? That's such a dumb thing to say, and not because I disagree about the quality of Rivanna Junction (because it IS fantastic), but because that was only 3 and a half years ago, and there was only one fucking album in between Rivanna and this new one.

It was just so fucking pointless (like this message) to even post! I can see if he put out, like, 13 fucking albums since Rivanna Junction, but there was only one!

Sheesh!

I'm gonna slap your dick!

bryne (February 12, 2010)

I'm not a writing nazi, but that sentence is one of the most confusing, garbled, hard to follow lack of clarity sentences ever.

The feeling's mutual.

Anyway, I think I understand your point; I could've worded that one a little better. See? I will defend my ability to properly use semicolons until I die!

Cheesetits (February 12, 2010)

The latter half of this album was alright.

letmego (February 12, 2010)

His best effort since Rivanna Junction

iLike!

slymer (February 11, 2010)

With Ease I Leave is the best track on the album. I still think Rivanna Junction is his strongest album throughout.

1234567 (February 11, 2010)

ehhhhh

LinoleumMagazine (February 11, 2010)

Dr Nick knows what's up.

MN_DrNick (February 11, 2010)

This is Barry's best solo album. THE END

TahoeJeff (February 11, 2010)

I can't really get into this. A new Avail record would be great though.

wyzo (February 10, 2010)

These are part of the same sentence -

"probably the least strongest"

and

"that it can hardly be perceived as a regression."

as in, there are even more words and verbs around these that pile on yet more conveyance. I'm not a writing nazi, but that sentence is one of the most confusing, garbled, hard to follow lack of clarity sentences ever. After that, its fine, I dont give a shit about proper semicolon use, so on, but if you don't make basic sense, your review is going to be a waste of the readers time. Even past least strongest, saying its the weakest album but doesn't regress is just bad, it's saying one thing then the total opposite. I know what your getting at, but your saying it in a way that makes it impossible to follow and like your saying two totally different things. Despite being the least bluest, it can't be seen as failing to be bluer. See? So many negative claims on top of a lack of a quality.....okay.....good review, just never write a sentence like that again.

Better: Despite clocking in as the weakest tim barry release, it shouldn't be discounted entirely as without progressive strides.

hayman (February 10, 2010)

I miss Avail. This is better than I thought it would be though.

Misanthropee (February 9, 2010)

I just can't get into this shit. With few exceptions, every one of these recent acoustipunk solo acts sounds pointless and inauthentic to me. I'll go so far as to say that now even includes Chuck Ragan.

I'd much rather hear a standards album from this guy than more derivative "original" material.

TSOL (February 9, 2010)

At first I didn't like it, then it grew on me and became my favorite Tim Barry solo record, and now it's sort of fading again. I think I've listened to too much Tim Barry lately...

Highlight imo was Walk 500 Miles. That song is filled with emotion.

DuffB (February 9, 2010)

The two misses are my favourite songs from the record!

Indecay (February 9, 2010)

This is ok, not great. I find myself humming along to a few tracks and skipping others. I'm enjoying it at the moment but I highly doubt I'll be listening to it come the end of this month.

telegraphrocks (February 9, 2010)

The acoustic/folk thing is definitely wearing thin on me.... I thought I'd still at least love anything from Tim Barry, but, it's mostly boring.

americanriot (February 9, 2010)

much like every tim barry release since the demo, at first i didn't like it as much as the previous one until about a couple days later and then i couldn't stop listening to it. the step from rivanna junction to manchester was huge. the emotion in tim's voice found on manchester is just massive. that carried onto this release and makes it quite powerful. the lyrics again are very personal and honest, which is what makes tim's stuff great. i completely disagree with "With Ease I Leave" being a weak track (as i find myself singing it all the time), despite it's length. it's still under 5 minutes long. the slow burners are where tim really shines anyway. "Prosser's Gabriel" is insanely catchy, though the argument of the song seems somewhat flawed to me. each album has great songs, and the songs that are any lesser don't seem like filler or a burden on the release. it helps ease a nice flow. is this album better than the last, i don't know, but i love it just the same and it still has everything that makes tim great in it.

notfeelingcreative (February 9, 2010)

A bit disappointed in this. Nowhere near as good as Rivanna Junction or Manchester. Still has some great songs, though.

canaandrumzz (February 9, 2010)

I really like "Prosser's Gabriel" I heard him play it before the record came out and was really excited to hear it again

social_t (February 9, 2010)

Least strongest...well done. Just saw Tim Barry for the first time with Chuck Ragan/Dave Hause. His amp quit mid song so he walked out in to the crowd to play while it got fixed. The dude puts on a fucking powerful show!

LinoleumMagazine (February 9, 2010)

They're all so good, but this might be my favorite Tim Barry album. Move on Blue kills me.

half_head (February 9, 2010)

i was never into his stuff, but i gave this a try and i'm digging it for the most part.

d_boons_ghost (February 9, 2010)

Go on tour with Avail, goddammit!

I haven't heard this yet but I bet it's pretty good.

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