Canadian blues-folk outfit Timber Timbre likes to tell it how it is. Their latest effort, amusingly entitled Creep On Creepin’ On, is just that — creepy. With its sultry basslines alongside Taylor Kirk’s deep, slightly reverberated vocals and occasional chamber pop interludes, this album is haunting in its composition and content. Opening track “Bad Ritual” sets the stage with a ghoulish feedback groan amidst an unnervingly constant piano beat, inciting a sense of suspenseful paranoia as the listener waits for something to give. Timber Timbre triumphs in continuing this unease through the whole album.
The folky roots of the band are made visible sporadically throughout — notably in the introduction of the titular track — and prove to its strongest segments. Slide guitar and whining fiddle reassure the listener that they are experiencing some derivative of folk, even if other songs venture into minimally successful doo-wop-indebted melodies and structureless noise. Listening to the wide variety of sonic styles explored throughout the course of Creep On is impressive, as they attempt to cover so many genres, but Timber Timbre would be better served mastering one or two instead.
The exceptions to the rule are the mid-tempo “Too Old to Die Young” and, especially, the dreary “Black Water”, where Kirk moans “All I need is some sunshine” over a grooving, stellar bassline. The soulful delivery of simpler lyrics is a refreshing break from the earlier reverb-laden vocals, which are nearly indistinguishable from the music. It’s a shame, though, that “Swamp Music” and the ominous “Woman” follow, undermining its accomplishment.
Kirk mentions needing sun after singing on this album. After listening to the Creep On Creepin’ On, it’s recommended that the listeners get some as well — the constant bleakness and nightmare-inducing weirdness warrant some immediate remedy.