TIMBER!!! drops a post punk manifesto

Written by Adam Schenkel. Posted in Local, Music

So, I hear last Friday night the place to be was the Brass Rail. Why you say? A triple bill that when spoken out loud would surely cause any local music fan to choke on their PBR or finely fermented craft beer. Friday night the Brass Rail was the sight of a musical orgy that involved the well-oiled TIMBER!!!, House Of Bread and Heaven’s Gateway Drugs. We discussed House Of Bread a couple weeks ago on these pages(Hypnic Jerk gonna spank you like you know you deserve). We don’t know much about Heaven’s Gateway Drugs, other than “I am Heaven’s Gateway Drugs,” and there are  some very eerie band photos on their website. Looks like one of the Culkin brothers and a Soggy Bottom Boy are among the Gateway members. They rock some mean Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre and BRMC-like drone blues garage rock gumbo….at least that’s what I could tell from the couple tunes I found while searching the web and a couple of the band members harddrives.

The third band on that beer-soaked triple threat bill on Friday was TIMBER!!!. I was able to score a super secret copy of their upcoming full-length debut called Numbers, and this thing is insanely good! From the songwriting, to the Andy Gill-like guitar noise excursions, the tight, on-a-dime start stop rhythm section and the elegant time bomb vocal explosions, this album is a top notch post punk manifesto. Kendra Johnson, Ben Larson, Jason Williams and Jason Davis put out an e.p. back in 2011 called Twenty-Five Thirty-Five and gave the ears of the Fort a little preview of what TIMBER!!! was capable of laying down on tape. That e.p. was an ice-breaking of sorts. Numbers is the album they were meant to make.

All the stars were in alignment, me thinks.

‘Waste Away’ starts the album off with a Mission Of Burma angst and sense of urgency. Larson has the angular jaggedness of an in-his-prime Roger Miller. Davis and Williams are locked in keeping the rhythm section tight and solid, allowing Kendra Johnson the freedom to pull an emotional firestorm out out of her chest and onto our waiting ears. ‘Kaleidoscope’ sounds like Gang Of Four fronted by Debbie Harry. All angular guitar shards and pummeled drum toms elegantly held together by Johnson’s Siouxie Sioux vocal delivery. ‘Frisco Disco’ has a pop sensibility, but not in the usual pop sense. Pop music that Colin Newman and Graham Lewis gave us on albums like Chairs Missing and 154. TIMBER!!! leave us with the hazy, shoegazing ‘Lackluster’. A great tune that would’ve fit nicely on Lush’s masterpiece Spooky. 

TIMBER!!! are a true band. All four members bring something vital to the group. You’ll hear that when you get your first taste of Numbers as you can now pre-order it at their website. You’ll hear it when you check TIMBER!!! out at CS3 for their record release show on September 28th at 8pm. And you’ll hear it when TIMBER!!! come to your house and play in your living room for the mere price of a 12pk of Sierra Nevada and some chicken tacos.

Alright, they won’t come to your house. But they will blow your minds with their elegantly chaotic post punk. Do it!  And pre-order…now!


The Return of Vandolah

Written by Adam Schenkel. Posted in Local, Music

If you’re a townie, or have at least been ‘in the know’ within the local music community over the last 10 years or so in Fort Wayne, then the name Vandolah should mean something to you. If it doesn’t and you consider yourself as someone with their finger on the local music pulse, you are sorely mistaken. Because when you see the name Vandolah, you and that hipster beard of yours should set your 20oz can of PBR down and salute. Vandolah is/are the O.G.s of local indie music. Well guess what, the O.G.s are back in town and they’ve got a  seven-song e.p. called One More Minute ready to candy coat your ears with some jangly guitar rock.

For the uninitiated, Vandolah is fronted by Mark Hutchins. Yep, THAT Mark Hutchins. The guy behind 2010s classic Sleepy Furnace and 2011s bluegrass-tinged Liar’s Gift. On previous releases, like Please, Walk It Off and To The Moon, Vandolah was Hutchins, Dan Greunke and Kyle Stevenson. This time, though, Vandolah seems to be a one man show, with some piano and drum touches courtesy of Goodbyewave/Sunnydaymassacre hermit J. Hubner. And Al Gore. Yes, thanks to Al Gore and his creation, the internet, music files could be shared between midwest Republican strongholds and songs could be put together out of thin air. After much debate, hand wringing, happy thoughts, sad reflection and finally cathartic release we have a mid-year blessing in One More Minute.

Lightning Love – Blonde Album

Written by Adam Schenkel. Posted in Music, Reviews

You may be surprisingly delighted by this lovely little album by the brother-sister-friend trio known as Lightning Love.  They may not be quite my cup of tea, but what can I say?  They are adorable.  They have mastered the sound of simplicity with their latest, long awaited release Blonde Album. The minimal, carefully arranged, melodic tunes within counter the delicate twee pop with lyrics that expound a clear-eyed and unflinching look at the sorrows of love and life.  Like the new wave & Brit-pop groups that inspired the band, Lightning Love knows that the best way to swallow a bitter pill is to douse it in something sweet.

Essential Tracks:
I Know


House Of Bread is Rising

Written by Adam Schenkel. Posted in Local

Photo by John Hartman

Hey, Fort Wayne.

I’m sure you are all quite aware of the bounty we have in this landlocked town when it comes to original local music.  Sure, you’ve got your Ted Nugent tribute bands like Dave Mustaine’s Long Lost Dad, and the always classy rastafarian doom metal outfit Bob Snarling and the Impalers.  I won’t even attempt to explain the awesomeness of the underground nu metal scene.  What I’m here to talk about today dear readers is Fort Wayne’s own House of Bread.  No, this isn’t that tasty bakery on South Calhoun.  This is the alternative dream pop outfit that’s been laying their tasty baked goods on our starved, salivating ears for nearly 7 years now.  Omar Afzaal of All Nite Skate, Castles and

The Alternative Review Point – Junk Culture – Wild Quiet

Written by Adam Schenkel. Posted in Music, Reviews

Junk Culture – Wild Quiet

Known for his sample-based production talents, Deepak Mantena has decided to take up the singer-songwriter guise for his third album as Junk Culture on Wild Quiet. The album opener, “Oregon”, starts Wild Quiet out on a garage rock beat and then “Washington” closes the album with a very-fitting aquatic soundscape. The title track “Ceremony” is, oddly enough, not one of the standouts on the album. Instead, I suggest “Growing Pains” and “Indian Summer” as the essential tracks. Although his attempt at traditional song structure leaves something to be desired, open-minded music fans will be delighted with the sample-heavy blissful sounds. Even though at times his lyrics may seem very straight forward and simple, especially in comparison to his influences Atlas Sound, Caribou, and Animal Collective, I’m still very much anticipating Junk Culture’s musical maturity in his future endeavors.

Essential tracks:

Growing Pains

Indian Summer

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