Not quite sure who this ‘Tim Powers’ bloke is, but his life sounds like a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s worth mentioning this album was funded by fans on Pledge Music and subsequently delayed from its original release in early December until February. The band released a statement via video explaining it is more to do with the album gaining exposure at the ‘right time’ rather than anything negative. Is it worth the wait?
POV are kind of an indie-rock match made in heaven – The humour and punk-pop edge of Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick and the somber , chilled-out pop sensibility of Smile Smile’s Ryan Hamilton. Quite a blend of ingredients that are great on their own and even better together, kind of like Jack Daniels and cola, or peanut butter and jam. If you haven’t listened to anything by People on Vacation you probably can imagine it’s the midway point between indie and Texan punk pop, and you’re not far off.
This is definitely not a BFS album, but leaning more towards Hamilton’s back catalogue with Smile Smile. The opener ‘Don’t Ask The Question’ embodies both sides of this duo: Reddick’s boyish sense of humor previously heard on his work with BFS, and his other project Jarinus, is also absent for the duration. This isn’t a bad thing and if anything makes this album sound a lot more unique than a band that were previously considered a mere ‘side project’.
This album has somewhat of a 80s soft-rock feel about it in terms of song structure and overall production. Tracks such as the lead single ‘You Might Not Believe In God’ could pass as something originally recorded by Billy Joel or The Cars, as are tracks like ‘The Girl I Used To Love’ or ‘I Might Change my Mind’.
Cheerful tunes like ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ and ‘We Should of Made It’ keep you smiling throughout. A highlight being their latest single ‘Punk Rock World’ which could easily be one of Reddick’s BFS b-sides but fits in quite well on ‘The Chronicles Of Tim Powers’. This album is a great start of the new year in terms of music and newer bands to get in to. At one of the most drab times of the year ‘The Chronicles Of Tim Powers’ will give you a sense of hopefulness and aspiration that other bands of this genre may fall flat on.
Answering the question at the the top of this review: It’s definitely worth the wait, for fans of POV, BFS and Smile Smile alike. A great gateway in to this genre for the duo and only great things can happen from here on out, this Tim Powers fella ain’t bad at all.
This review also features in Issue 1 of RAMzine: