First rule: any kind of music can be done well, even if it usually isn’t. I’m sure, somewhere in this world, there’s a polka band that fucking rips. So I try not to immediately dismiss any kind of genre crossovers. I’m not a fan of acoustic music and I’m not a fan of country music, but some musicians have made me a believer. Shit, a few decades ago, country music was amazing. Listen to Hank Williams, Sr. Listen to Jimmy Rodgers. Listen to Johnny Cash. If you want to get up-to-date, listen to Slim Cessna. And if you think a band can’t fuse country into punk, listen to This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb. Check out Against Me’s seven inches. Anything can be done well. So, when I gave this new Timversion 10” its first spin, I was surprised to hear that it’s mostly acoustic and countrified as all get out. Which is okay. On their full length and on their split with Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission, The Timversion sneak in countrified tunes. So I gave this a listen, and there’s a lot going on here. It’s easy to hear the Replacements influence. It’s also easy to hear some Uncle Tupelo in here (and, I can’t believe I’m saying this in writing, but early Uncle Tupelo was pretty good. Every time I go to sell back my Uncle Tupelo album, I end up giving it one last listen and deciding to keep it). Mostly, though, this is a lot of The Timversion, just stripped down. The songs are kinda sad and redeeming. The first four listens are a race to learn the words so I can sing along. And, slow or not, it’s never boring. They claim to have been drunk when they recorded this, but the musicianship is spot on. Even the harmonica is cool. Hell, there’s even a drinking song for Davey (Tiltwheel) Quinn called, appropriately enough, “Drinkin’ Song for Davey Quinn.” This isn’t a match for The Timversion’s full length, Creating Forces that Don’t Exist, or for their split with the Chinchillas, but then again, I don’t hear too many records at all that are a match for those two. And, to be honest, I’ve listened to this album every day since I got it. On some days, I break down and listen to it two or three times.
–sean (Soooo Intense)