In the New Old Fashioned Way
Wow. Pianos are in bed with guitars — it’s kinky but perfect, just hitting that spot. They’re getting along fabulously, trying out all the different positions and then some. Completely raw and raucous with finesse and frivolity all together.
Pianist/songwriter Seth Timbs can write in a minor key, yet sing happily (sometimes elatedly), but secretly about the darkest things. Life’s undeniable ironies trapped between words and music. The strong melodies appear smooth but reveal all sorts of grit, matching the duality of Seth’s sweet and soaring vocals hiding all those sonic punches.
I picture Seth’s piano perched atop a steamroller as he’s prominently calling all keys, and Brian Roger’s guitar is never far behind, pushing Seth forward on a bed of bass already firmly planted by Ben Morton. Sam Baker’s drumming supervises and compliments. Still, occasionally, somewhere, distantly and deep inside them you can almost hear the sons of trapped troubadour balladeers, scrambling and kick-rocking their way out, definitely in a new old fashioned way.
If Ben Folds fronted Steely Dan, who managed to harness the intensity of the creativity they had in the ’70s as it matured twenty years, and they were jamming on some specific songs from Billy Joel and Elton John’s first or second albums, while nearby Elvis Costello talked with the ghost of Thelonious Monk about the last Todd Rundgren album they’d heard, as Self’s Matt Mahaffey smiled on quietly tending to the tweaking, well, Fluid Ounces would occur at many points in there. Sure, it’s unfair and semi-inclusive, but it gives you a few colors to work with.
Seth is also calling all willing brains. By the time you actually digest all the words in each song, you have five or six different interpretations of what it could mean. That’s okay though, you’ll just have plenty of things to think about while you’re listening to Fluid Ounces over and over. Like many acquired tastes, you know it’s going to be something good, and the more you get to know it the better it gets.