Taylor Locke – Time Stands Still album review

 

TAYLOR LOCKE TIME STANDS STILL

Taylor Locke’s ‘Time Stands Still‘ has been branded as “The new face of west coast rock” by Classic Rock Magazine, but I’m not sure if I want to stick around to see it’s direction.

He describes it as a “slightly eclectic mix of power-pop, alt-folk, Americana and classic rock,” and I very much hear that; Here’s how it went down:

It opens with a song and a paradox: Painful to listen to yet deeply unaffecting. ‘Burbank Woman’ was lyrically weak – and doesn’t paint him as a nice person from the off.

It’s the story of a guy pursuing a woman who had no interest in him.

He’s convinced himself there must be something wrong with her from her past rather than the fact that hmm – maybe she just plain don’t like him. I find this a deeply patronising song.

And all of this is glazed over trying to sound like a ’90s teen drama wrapping up throughout.

Just exhale and press ‘next’.

On comes The Game.
A guitar riff not unlike candy by Paolo Nutini nurses the welcome emergence of an Eagles vibe: soft electric guitar, chill drumbeat and the urge to nod.

The song is saturated with gambling references. “Leaving while she’s up and I’m doubling down.”

Lines that make lyricists cringe are common; take “I can’t win, I’m losing”, for example.
But that one in particular is followed by quite a nice little guitar solo and a cowbell that would make even Christopher Walkin nod with approval.

And that tells you a lot of what you need to know about this album.

Despite the lyrics, it has a nice chill rhythm, and a ’70s/’80s vibe; it takes you back to a time hazy with smoke-

– and blends you nicely into the next song, ‘Running Away from Love‘.
It’s style is very much cemented into the same era but jumping genres.

With a fun rhythm and jaunty beat it’s very happy, very Osmonds. This is juxtaposed with the occasional Nirvana reference.

It’s a sweet tilt-head-to-the-side song, and disagrees with other themes. I think he’s the one running now. Gah, hypocrisy!

But it is a real feel good sun song that will make for shmexy radio play.

It also comes with a pretty fun video of him going through town in an armchair doing a range of “wow i’m whimsical” things because fun.

It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which I think is what the album should be taken as. (but I’m gonna rip the ‘meaningful’ slow songs to shreds anyway because he put them out to tender.)

Don’t be a Stranger‘ is another Blandy McBland song with absolutely nothing unique to offer. Guitars, drums, bass, what else? Well, it lets you retreat to the bar for another drink at the gig.

So Long‘ offers about as much. I can see old people in a country hall stepping from side to side swinging their arms likewise, as mighty wrinkly chariots bringing them to their youths.

Time Stands Still‘ The title track of the album unfortunately serves up the same. Here’s a breakdown so you wont miss anything:

Strum strum

*meaningless regretful sounding lyrics*

Strum strum

*meaningless regretful sounding lyrics*

Strum strum

*meaningless regretful sounding lyrics*
And I’d almost lost hope at this point. I wondered how much longer I could deal with this subjection. And then it happened.

Stampy drums.
Ringing organ.
Angry guitars.

Locke asserts himself with pouty defiance with the lyrics, “Call Me Kuchu”.

It’s so meaningless but suggestive, and that’s the angle he so badly missed with the rest of the album. It makes you care about the vague representation of stuff for the first time.

It’s got the spirit of the sixties in mind and is a clear nod to The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’. There were shavings of  Zombies and the Animals there too, with a seeping 60s organ.

The hoo-hoo sound in the chorus brings you right back ‘Witchy Woman‘ and the recurring source,The Eagles.

It makes the rest of the album almost bearable.

Even if it’s followed by ‘The Art Of Moving On’, a brick wall for the momentum Kuchubuilt up. The initial ‘Douchebag at a campfire’ guitar strumming made me fear the worst.

His Put-on softy-soft voice tries to disguise the ludicrous things he’s comes out with.

“Go out with dear friends and get a girl inside your bed, find one nice and easy who won’t get inside your head, shake the empty feeling when she’s driving home at dawn, that’s the art of moving on.”

Essentially he tries to make meaningless sex sound all sensitive and meaningful and cute. Get over yourself. You want to use a few women as vessels for your own recovery. Grand.

Going, Going, Gone‘ and ‘No Dice‘ are again, what you’d expect from him at this stage.

Chill, nice beat, Eagles-ey but numbing; Don’t expect it to change your life.

 

My reflections overall:
I would like him if he played in a bar at 8pm some evening after work, but he’s not “I’ll pay for this”, or “I’ll make plans for this” music.

This album really screams out to the listener, here’s what I want you to listen to, and over here is what I want you to skip over. There’s a lot of filler to wade through.

‘Call Me Kuchu‘ is the only thing I’ve come across worth keeping, so, make that the new direction of west coast rock, and dump the rest please Mr Kuchu.

“Time Stands Still”, the album, was released in Europe on CD, vinyl & digital formats On Feb 23rd via British indie label Lojinx.

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