Timeshares - Bearable [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Bearable [12-inch] (2011)

Kiss of Death / Kind of Like

Kiss of Death is a pretty reliable label and to ignore a release with its highly distinctive logo on is criminal. Timeshares is another band that seems to go hand in glove with a lot of other artists on that esteemed label but without just coming across as another typical band. Although a large number of Kiss of Death releases that I have heard could be grouped together in terms of genre/sound, it is by no means the be all and end all for the music they champion. What is evident on listening to Bearable for the first time though is that here the label has unearthed a gem of a band/release (along with the Slow Death's Born Ugly Got Worse), which really does raise the bar further for Kiss Of Death in terms of quality.

Opening with the effervescent "From An Admirer Not Daryl," Timeshares certainly create a sense of "let's all get together and have one hell of a good time" as they crash into my ears with little care for any pleasantries, but without disregard for subtlety. The song does have that feeling that it should not be listened to whilst stationary, and this is something that permeates through the album even with tracks that are a bit slower.

The key element that makes Timeshares' debut long-player release such a wonderful piece of work is that there isn't one formula in place across the 12 tracks. The band clearly has the ability to imbue its songs with variety and originality in a genre that, at times, can be stifling and stale. It is there for all to hear that much hard work has been put into writing these songs as they are far from being throwaway tunes, with a depth both musically and lyrically that implies there is a synergy from the interaction of the four members of the band. The two different vocal styles complement each other perfectly and allow the band to write songs that favor one, the other or both vocalists. The rhythm section provides a deep and energetic backbone to the guitars as they do their business front and center in a hugely effective way. I do have to say that the drumming on this record surpasses most other pot bangers I've heard in recent years--a performance that on the face of it is quite simple but which actually has many small components that make it stand out without in any way taking over and trying to come across in a "notice me" kind of way.

Bearable contains a veritable wealth of great songs but it I had to pick a handful as favorites I'd plump for "Sarah, Send Your Driver," "Too Many ELO Days" and "Chinese Coffee Torture." Mind you, if I wrote this tomorrow or had written it yesterday you could be reading a different three tracks.

Although Latterman is often referred to when I read about Timeshares, I would add that I hear parts of songs that also make me think of the U.K.'s Bangers (recent touring mates with Timeshares) and at one stage, vocally, at the end of "Focus, Eddie," Jimmy Eat World. From start to finish there is a something about this record which raises spirits and puts purpose into one's stride--you should have seen me walking home whilst listening to this. My body felt invigorated and I could have kept going for miles with this playing in my ears.

Only the foolish would overlook this album. Do you consider yourself to be a fool?