The Timeout Drawer, Record Of Small Histories (Some Odd Pilot)

Posted January 5th, 2000 by admin

The Timeout Drawer
Record Of Small Histories
Some Odd Pilot
By: Eric G.

Space rock has never sounded so good. The Timeout Drawer is a trio from Chicago that plays mostly instrumental, emotionally textured rock. The analogue synths are layered with affected guitar tones very much reminiscent of Robert Smith’s chiming style, particularly in the opener, “Stair.” The melodies are languid and full of the dark trappings associated with laborious instrumental rock, but they ebb and flow gracefully within the epic proportions of each track. The songs unfurl in slow motion to reveal strange synthetic noises and distant keyboards. The layers are thick, but the music never sounds clouded.

It’s surprising to hear a human voice after two lengthy instrumentals, but the vocal style is very subtle and unassuming. The vocals are not necessary, but they don’t break the spell either. The band changes pace on “1000 Reels”, letting the tension build beyond an echoed crescendo. The lyrics are cryptic and vague: “a thousand reels grinding/a part of me now is gone/of course the scene still remains/tune in and save me at five/frame by frame I’ll inform.” The direction gets even weirder on “Tourist.” The music is no longer passive and reflective. The beat picks up pace and the electronics sound modern, as if the band just became aware that it was being watched.

Record Of Small Histories is like the soundtrack to a futuristic bad dream. It’s best to listen to this with headphones to catch all of the stylistic minutiae. The Timeout Drawer’s elegant spaceboy rock is worth seeking out even if you are averse to droning instrumentals. The shortest song is practically six minutes, but it’s easy to lose yourself in this wraithlike time warp.

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