Monday, April 22, 2024

Mary Timony goes brave on Untame the Tiger

I consider it a massive oversight on my part that I was unaware of Mary Timony’s work until I read about her achieving a top 100 position in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘Best Guitarists of All Time’ listing. Although I always take lists like this with a pinch of salt, I was impressed enough with the write-up to check out her latest solo album.

If you want heavy rock, it isn’t here but don’t rush off, Mary has a skill on the guitar that warrants a listen whatever your chosen genre. She uses some alternate tunings I can’t quite get my ear around but they work and her picking style is mesmerising.

The cover of the new album, Untame the Tiger, gives a clue to the emotions and heartfelt content with a kind of mind map behind the tear-stained portrait. So this is a very personal album written while she is coping with caring for her ailing parents and coming out of a long-term relationship.

The first track, ‘No Thirds’ conveys her turmoil with a deft blend of catchiness and complex guitar patterns, as I said, not rock of our usual variety but instead, an acoustic-backed, almost Beatle-ish, style of gentle rock that packs a punch, especially with the clever solo.

‘Summer’ has a tantalising riff that is simple but hell to play and, with the punk/pop middle section and astute solo, it is a delight. ‘Looking for the Sun’ is a mix of Eastern themes at the beginning before going a bit prog/psyche… in a nice way.

Elsewhere, we get the Blondie-ish ‘Don’t Disappear’: then the genius of the title track, the intro of which would fit on Coverdale/Page quite neatly before turning into another catchy punk/pop masterclass. 

It may not be heavy but I do urge you to listen to this gentle, atmospheric and exceedingly well-written and performed album. Mary may not have been on my radar before, but she is now.

Untame the Tiger is out now

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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I consider it a massive oversight on my part that I was unaware of Mary Timony’s work until I read about her achieving a top 100 position in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 'Best Guitarists of All Time’ listing. Although I always take lists like this...Mary Timony goes brave on Untame the Tiger