Akron's Shivering Timbers are a new revelation to me. I just was hand delivered some tracks via the internet mail, and I'm here to preach the gospel. Sometimes I'll admit that I look outward too broadly and need to be lassoed back in to look at killer music being produced right on my own front doorstep. Dan Auerbach produced Shivering Timbers' December 5th release, We All Started in the Same Place and recorded the record at his own Easy Eye Studios. Additionally, he laid down the drums on two of the tracks. However, Auerbach's interest and involvement is really tertiary. The story behind the band and album is fabulous, and I feel slightly embarrassed that, as a Clevelander, I haven't caught wind of this duo until now. I'll blame it on all of the snow and FBI probes into the auditor's office.
Essentially, Auerbach was moved enough at hearing the husband and wife duo, Jayson and Sarah Benn, of Shivering Timbers, that he put this whole album together. Auerbach describes their sound as "a junkyard orchestra." It does not dissapoint in the slightest, and manages to span the gamut of musical styles with enough control to keep it consistent and intriguing. One part macabre, one part chamber gospel, one part Grimm fairy tale, the tracks are expansive and are difficult to pinpoint into one particular genre. What is easy to decipher, however, is the coolness and unique variety dripping from every track. I've posted "Nose Nose Nose" and "Crooked Old Man" for a taste below. Some of the tracks are downright spooky in tone and ambience, distortion shredding up the clarity, a la No Age. Other tracks are more vaudevillian and rooted in kind of twisted jazzy gospel tone and structure. Some tracks even go into a sort of White Stripesian square dance mode. Sarah Benn's vocals are striking with smoky ambience and confidence, like other Ohioan chick rocker Erica Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards, and perhaps the coolest thing is that many of the songs are based in old-school nursery rhymes; the birth of the couple's daughter inspired the reinterpretation of these lyrics. I hear tinges of Grace Slick and Janis. I hear a bluesy center with lip-sneering attitude. I also hear children laughing. The juxtaposition of fantastical, juvenile lyricism with darker and brooding music is just what the doctor ordered. I'm ga-ga for these two and even more excited that they are playing all over the place locally. Even on a national level, my hope is that people catch wind. Big things on the horizon.
Great write up of the band by clicking HERE
Visit the bands website by clicking HERE.