The interesting thing about what you like is not what you prefer but what deviates from the pattern. If like me you like lots of different types of music then perhaps it isn’t so strange to connect The Meters to Van Der Graaf Generator via Fred Astaire and this new band from one of my old, odd indie favourites, Mary Timony.
In this incarnation she sounds like she just fell out of a spaceship that crashed in 1979. The occupants revived and placed on a stage in front of a curious audience of cynical hipsters. Luckily for them, cynical hipsters like this kind of thing – an unpretentious, all girl, edgy Pop. Except that Timony’s magic goes deeper than it may seem and although Annie Clark gets all the praise for her guitar playing, Timony knows the difference between a throwaway and a vital lick.
Guitarists think about tone and whether Timony just has the knack, plugs it in, sounds good or whether she works it out carefully, makes me wonder if she like all my favourite guitarist has the tone already in her fingers – she might as well just plug her fingers into the amp, dispel with the guitar. Every time I hear her play guitar I like it, but it’s not just the tone, it’s the timing, the parts, the way she works them out and her energy – she injects vitality into the instrument and it comes out the end as a firey happy bundle of joy.
This won’t work for most Van Der Graaf Generator fans, most Fred Astaire fans and I can almost guarantee no fans at all of The Meters, but for me somewhere in the melodies I hear an appealing tune, in the guitars I hear expression, in the words I hear personality and I know for a fact that Ex Hex are loved in outer space.
Previous posts on Mary Timony: