Timco's Friction Tape LP, I mentioned a collection of their singles would be forthcoming. Well, a full nine years later the forth has belatedly come. Since this is a band that hasn't been active in roughly a quarter century I can't enlighten you much more than I already have. Nonetheless here are the basics. The fulcrum of Timco were two alumni from one of a really choice, not to mention noisome indie rock troupe from the '80s I've oft featured on these pages, Nice Strong Arm. Kevin Thompson parlayed his frontman role in NSA to Timco, and also brought along Ethel M. Deathel from his old group. Timco eschew much of NSA's wailing maelstroms, instead reveling in emotive, and sometimes highly dynamic downer rock bristling with texture and sobering resignations. If that description strikes you as a bit of an oversimplification, maybe it is, and while it may apply to their albums, the aforementioned Friction Tape and 1996's Gentleman Jim, Timco's first blush of short-for
m releases reveal a more varied story.
Birds, Bees & Cherries, a double 7" ep delivers a quartet of four-track demos cut by Thompson in '91. The commencing "Dragg Dabb" is the most engaging, anchored by a low roar of melancholy vocals and a gradually escalating crescendo of layered post-punk fretwork. Sheer magic. "Water Sucks Bugs" is even rawer and more amped-out and just about the closest Timco ever came to stretching back to Nice Strong Arm's sonic posture. The two songs occupying the second 45 are more subdued - not to mention a bit sardonic, proving Thompson possesses something resembling a sense of humor, idiosyncratic as it may be.
Another single, The Hotel Radio surfaced about three years with two songs culled from a radio session on KPFK in Los Angeles. The A-side, "Gone" is relatively spare but effective thanks to a devastatingly powerful vocal hook. This song would reside comfortably next to work of Timco contemporaries Seam and Versus. The flip, "Louisiana" is a ballad of dark proportions, although Thompson's dialogue leading into sounds a tad disingenuous.
The final single, also from 1994, features two live tracks from the Friction Tape-era. Ironically, Friction... itself was cut live in studio, and it's almost impossible to tell these singler versions apart from the album. The angsty "Walking Papers" is the epitome of what Timco were all about, while"Screw You" is an insular kiss-off if there ever was such a thing. Enjoy (or not)
01. Dragg Dabb
02. Water Sucks Bugs
07. Screw You
08. Walking Papers
1-4 from Birds, Bees & Cherries 2x7" ep (1991, Communion)
5 & 6 from 7" (1994, Insignificant)
7 & 8 from 7" (1994, Basura)