CD Review – Tim Lee 3 “Devil’s Rope”
Well, the mailbox and inbox are filling up with tons of cool new music. So, I’ll jump in with the second ever non-shuffle album review….
See what’s up with Tim Lee 3 and their forthcoming new album Devil’s Rope after the jump…
Tim Lee 3 are from Knoxville, Tennessee. Devil’s Rope is the follow up to their 2010 Double Album Raucous Americanus. They play music and eat Barbeque, and I was first introduced to their music via Couch by Couchwest. I liked what I heard so much that I made them a featured artist last year some time. Tim Lee 3 are Tim Lee (guitars and vox), Susan Bauer Lee (bass and vox) and Chris Bratta (drums).
Recently, I got my grubby little hands on Devil’s Rope, and now I intend to tell you why you ought to buy it when it is released on February 28 (you can pre-order for another day and a half will have the link below).
Based upon their Facebook profile, Tim Lee 3 do not care much for labels, and they prefer to let their music speak for itself. And it does speak – loud and clear.
Signals: When this song hit my headphones, I was hooked. Out of the noise of a revving engine and the squeal of feedback drenched guitar a song emerges. “Fast cars and loud guitars” Susan Bauer Lee has a great rock ‘n roll voice – drawling the lyrics which paint an all too familiar tableau for someone like me who grew up in smaller town in the South. “Local bars and going too far.” I found myself thinking this is what rock music is supposed to be. It evokes sense memories without a hint of empty nostalgia.
Devil’s Rope: Muscially, this trio is tight. This shows up the title track, a nifty rocker that opens with an awesome bass line. I find myself nodding my head as I listen to this. The blues are slathered over this song like BBQ sauce on a slab of ribs. Tim Lee’s vocals are just rough enough for the music.
Jet Boys: A slow burner. The song speaks to the hopelessness of a dead-end town “Nobody ever dreams in this town…” ” The Jet Boys in their funny cars” offer a glimpse of what is possible if while knowing it is a fleeting thing.
You’re Not There: Susan and Tim trade-off on lead vocals, but for me the real magic happens when they sing together. I keep thinking about John and Exene… You’re Not There is a mid-tempo rocker filled with a sense of loss and desertion.
Alibi: A tender country-flavored song with some amazing hooks and for which Susan’s unique vocals are a perfect fit.
Monkey Dance: You know hear fun rave-ups like this much anymore, which makes this song all the more welcome. “Well we burst on the scene and we thought we were the shit…” It’s the kind of song that makes you move your feet and smile in spite of yourself.
Cut-Rate Divorce: By this point, about mid-way through the album, I had figured out that Tim Lee 3 were no one-trick ponies. Cut-Rate Divorce opens with a menacing bass line. The layered guitar/feedback and drums kick in and this could almost be Nirvana. The vocals strike a familiar chord that I can’t place, but I again hear echos of X when Susan and Tim sing together. “No blame assigned, no questions asked”
Halo Days (4 ‘Drew): Set at a funeral, a gorgeous, heart-wrenching song. By now, I know that Tim Lee 3 knows how to lay down a killer hook, and this song has one of the best I’ve heard in a long while. I think this band’s musical well-spring is stocked with a lot of the music to which I came of age. What they do with those inspirations is what sets this band apart.
Judging You: Hell yes. I just plain love everything about this song. “well maybe I shouldn’t be judging you, but that don’t mean that it ain’t true.”
Open the Door: Did I say great hooks? Another great song. “Everything is good these days, but all of my friends are dying…”
Weird Weather: Speaks to climate change of a different kind.
Says Baby Strange: Glorious hard rock. More head nodding – involuntary.
Any Day Now: An insistent and powerful song to close out the set.
So… Mark you calendars for February 28th and pick up Devil’s Rope at your favorite music selling establishment… OR… you still have time to get a pre-order in… Tim Lee 3 are offering some cool perks at different spending levels and some proceeds are going to Belly Rubs Basset Rescue. Use widget below to reserve your copy and maybe have Tim Lee cook some BBQ for you.