It was clear from the start that the night was going to be one haunting lullaby.
The darkness quite literally set the stage for the gloomy mood. The faint glow of the band’s pink neon sign—the sans-serif album title, “Hot Dreams“—and scattered red spotlights barely illuminated the band as they shuffled onstage. As shadowy outlines strummed guitars and hammered out slow rhythms on drums, Taylor Kirk’s deep baritone voice boomed out of the blackness.
Timber Timbre‘s sound is best compared to the eeriness of a ghost town on Halloween. It’s creepy, it’s dark, and the zombies are just around the corner. (No, really, they sing about zombies in the song “Lonesome Hunter.”)
With minimal introductions, the tracks became rather indiscernible, an extensive drone. The only notable commentary was the pity we received for our harsh winter weather. “This is horrible. You poor bastards,” rumbled Kirk’s voice, before breaking out into a noticeably more upbeat, slightly therapeutic version of “Black Water.” The plinking chords of the piano supplemented a chorus that Bostonians had been muttering all month: “All I need is some sunshine.”
Though the motion was appreciated, unfortunately these days sunshine simply turns snow into slush, and we sloshed through “The New Tomorrow” and the tricky train wordplay of “This Low Commotion.”
At one point, Kirk flipped his guitar over, shredding imaginary chords onto the wood grain. “Hot Dreams” became an unnerving, swirling slow jam; he slicked back his hair with both hands and sang, “I wanna follow through / follow through on all my promises and threats to you babe.”
The next blend of tracks left Kirk wiping his brow with his rolled-up right sleeve. Though from what, it’s unclear, because the set was more a plodding march than a heated frenzy.
From time to time he would hold out two shaking hands in front of him, a preacher delivering a warning within a sermon. But this was an oration, not a discussion, and when fans pleaded for hit track “Demon Host,” Timber Timbre answered with “Magic Arrow.”
The sleepy song came to an end and the crowd left without hot dreams—or sweet ones, for that matter.
- Songs quite different from album versions
- Similarity of songs made the show feel like one long song
- No banter to help break up songs
- Ignored audience's requests for an encore