Album review by KevW
It's funny how band dynamics work, often two is the magic number. Whether it's a core songwriting partnership in a larger group (Lennon/McCartney, Squire/Brown, Morrissey/Marr and so on), an actual duo (I'm sure you can think of hundreds) or even a solo artist who has a regular writing or production partner (Elton John with Bernie Taupin, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones). Bouncing ideas between the heads of two people can work wonders, not only because it's two creative sparks, often one person's ideas will compliment another's and stop the music becoming stagnated, whereas too many cooks can often spoil the broth.
Californian pairing Jorge Rios and Brennan Roach have got themselves working together just fine as Time And Energy, even taking care of the varied instrumentation (usual rock-type set-up plus keys and synths with added clarinet) and production. On 'Strange Kind Of Focus', their second album, they sound well within their comfort zone whilst still coming up with some interesting tunes. It's a fairly eclectic form of alt-rock they make and has enough variety and a modern enough feel to make for an decent listen despite not being overly remarkable; I think the word we're looking for is solid. Difficult to fault, enjoyable but hardly earth-shattering.
They hop about a little which helps keep things fresh; the heavy, funk groove of 'O'Molly' gives way to the simple, psychedelic acoustics of 'Think It Through' and the album works because of this reasonably wide range of sounds, from the jazz/Latin/tribal fusion of 'Hot Air' to soulful highlight 'Thought Forms' which follows it. Time And Energy aren't afraid to play around and try out different ideas. You could maybe liken them to TV On The Radio or Beck in that respect. They're unlikely to change anyone's life through the music on this album, but it sure is good to have guys like this around who aren't content to just play it safe.
Time And Energy's website
Stream the album in full
Pre-order the album
For more news, reviews and downloads follow The Sound Of Confusion on Facebook or Twitter