Until He Finds Us
Some bands work quietly and never go anywhere, but others show a little spark to do something more. Take L.A.'s Timonium, who started out as a shoegaze-cum-slowcore act in the mid-'90s and now run a label, Pehr, that releases efforts by numerous bands besides themselves. And the band's own music is becoming ever more distinctly its ownUntil He Finds Us, the trio's third album, is a fine example of the idea that quiet, meditative rock spiked with just enough surprises not only still has a place but also has room for ambition. Adam Hervey and Tracy Uba's singing, like that of Aaron and Adrienne Snow in the similar band Landing, works as a gentle combination on songs like "Red Pawn" and "Embalme Anonym." The singers might fade a touch too much into the mix during their solo turns for the novice ear, but listen closely and you'll hear the band's subtle but never absent sense of dynamics"Solemn Corridors" is a good examplestand forth in their stead. A song like "Populations," the winning Uba-sung album starter, balances restraint (the fuzz pedals are never fully turned up and on, but they threaten to be) with a strong, swelling, build-and-release arrangement. "Across the Footlights" builds up to what could, in this context, almost be an explosion before shifting elegantly to a slow, descending midsection before finally resolving in a coda that, like the rest of the disc, is just exultant enough. NED RAGGETT
Timonium plays Crocodile Cafe with Mars Accelerator and Treasure State at 9 p.m. Wed., Oct. 8. $6.
German squelch-house producer/DJ Alex Kruger shares his most enduring alias (after going under names like Psychoplasma, Retronic, and Hair) with '40s B-movie cowboy sidekick Dub Taylor, but his approach to making music keeps edging away from the dusty or plain. On 2001's Detect, Taylor mixed tech-house's microtextures with jazz-funk-laden "deep house" and an occasionally tinny new-wave feel to lustrous effectwith a definite emphasis on "lust" in the case of cuts like "Sweet Lips" and "Dirty Highways." The new Experience doesn't have anything on it as initially arresting as those tracks, but it holds up better. That's partly because rather than hemming Detect's slow gear shifts and gradual rhythm-builds into something resembling pop, it lets the grooves expand and contract of their own volition. That's the effect, anywayit also helps that he mostly lays off the "jazzy" touches in favor of the sinuous compu-schmutz his scene is so (rightly) noted for. The synth patterns of "Under My Skin" sound both smooth and serrated, with a healthy overlay of percussive speech fragments (cutoff inhalations and the like). The staticky wows, pressure-drop bass, and ghostly, pasted-on background vocals of "Blow" augment a lazy electro keyboard ostinato and straight-pushing beat. And the purely nonhuman aspects of the disc throw the vocals into sharper relief; "Your Soul" is acid-jazzy enough to skirt middlebrow stasis, but its cannily processed percussion (chirping here, coffee-can shakers there) and Vital's hesitant, beguiling croon make it one of the best dance tracks of the year. MICHAELANGELO MATOS
Truly She Is None Other
Of the 13 tracks on the sweetheart of the garage's ninth "solo" release, Holly Golightly's cover of the Kinks' "Tell Me Now So I Know" is definitely the best. Though it glides gracefully into a nice originalthe primitively rhythmic, hand-clappin' "You Have Yet to Win"the Ray Davies song becomes a sad, surfing Shangri-la-esque shimmer in the former Headcoatee's hands, and it definitely stands out from the rest. Sure, the back-porch, over-yonder haunter "Sent" stands out because it's so much more country-fried than the others, and the strange "One Neck" is a spacey, druggy, sorta boring VU slider, but the Kinks cover is the clear winner. And although that's a bit of a bummer (you kind of want your own song to be your album's best, don't you?), when you consider that her original foray into rock was behind British big shot Billy Childish and that these days Golightly's secondary paychecks come from bands like the White Stripes in exchange for some oddly sexy deadpan backupsnot to mention her long history of choosing good coversI suppose I shouldn't discount her for shining so brightly with someone else's song. It's certainly no reason to skip the releaseor this show. While most girl-fronted garage groups are, along with their numskull all-male counterparts, hell bent on attempting to rock like the MC5, Holly goes lightly, because that's what she does best. If your garage is painted pale (as opposed to hot) pink and decorated with Keane paintings, this is your new favorite record. LAURA CASSIDY