TIM VERSION, THE: Decline of the Southern Gentleman: LP

This is one way I consider myself lucky: not taking The Tim Version for granted. Pound for pound, note for note, they’re one of my favorite bands in existence. I’ll be honest, I’m a busy dude, but when I was asked to write the one-sheet for this record and the liner notes for another collection within a week by two different people, it wasn’t a question of doing it, it was a question of if I could do a good enough job. There’s always the risk of douchebaggery writing how great a band is for the sole exercise of trying to convince people who’ve never heard of them to buy their record. Yet, I wanted to repay my debt to the band without the exchange of money. I’ve spent hundreds of hours listening to, writing along to, and flat-out feeling that my day got better by listening to Tim Version records—all of them—from their two previous full-lengths, to their split with Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission, to the country-soaked Floribraska 10”. They could wrap themselves up in so many cheap flags of easy identification, but they don’t. They’re, at their core, just great dudes who play in what I think is a largely overlooked band. And I don’t think they care about that. They all work hard (bartender for a bar located in front of a trailer park, an insurance estimator, a self-employed Ebay/Yahoo-er, and a rocket scientist) and examine life, death, and the living dead. They’re a band who are operating equally on the three levels: of heart (there’s a ton of compassion, even in their disgust and dismay), head (listening to the album is one thing, listening to it while reading the lyrics, adds a novel-like dimension mixed with razor-sharp political commentary), and body (there’s no denying that all of these guys can play their instruments in Hacksaw Jim Duggan / Bob Stinston ways, not Yngwie Malmsteen / Blues Hammer ways)). It all leads to one conclusion: one of the best records of 2008.

 –todd (No Idea)