The Timelords are the great Steve Bemand, of Smartpils, The Demented Stoats, Hawkwind European Tour 1991, Technopagan, The Ancient Ones and plenty of other ensembles fame, and Dani Speakman, who I don’t know but I’m sure is equally great. They describe themselves as The Brothers Von Trippenhoff and Convergence, released on CD by Whiplash Records and alternatively available in multiple formats for download from the band’s Bandcamp page, is their dynamic and properly thrilling debut album. I didn’t get along to Hawkeaster, where The Timelords were part of the bill, and haven’t otherwise seen them play live yet, though I did catch up with Steve for a general chat during the Hawkwind ‘Space Ritual’ day at Seaton a few months back – he’s a really good guy.
They play a really broad vista of soundscapes, elongated mind journeys that twist and turn through space-time with robust guitar chops and sharply descriptive lead lines, simple lyrical space-chants and evocative invocations: “Flying low over the horizon / All eyes on the horizon”. On ‘The Moment’ with its studied rhythms and swirling synth-fxs they start out almost in ‘Valium Ten’ territory momentarily and then head-out in a different direction with a heavy darkness - “into the vast unknown”, a modern space ritual, bass-roving, sythns describing, with Eastern flavours, a mysterious cosmic spaciousness.
‘Blu-ray Monday’ is the album’s sixteen minute (and some more) masterwork, starting out with thoughtful, crystalline effects, sounds swooping in across them and drifting out again before it builds to a sonic travelogue that shifts and changes along its path, Bemand’s guitar chops building in the background, hinting at the riffs that will explode out into the main thrust of the track as though the player is pulling back at something that wants to launch out of its own accord – launch out of its own chords – and disappear out over the event horizon. When it does, it’s one a helluva of head-fuck psych-trip, marching, flying, bursting, imploring, it has absolutely everything, delivered in the brightness of flaring comets. It’s that good.
They undertake one cover, a revision of ‘2000 Light Years From Home’ that does mix-up the texture of the record, bringing in something that has more of a song-structure even while they give it some sturdy guitar chops and purposeful drum beats so that it’s not exactly out of place, but does turn the album on its head for a moment before they get into another couple of opus numbers, ‘Decoding The Senses’ and ‘Rough Diamond’. The first is an atmospheric mood piece, introverted and pensive, the other an equally experimental piece with spoken word and discordant bass and guitar rumblings so that the Stones cover seems to page-mark and divide the earlier driving spacerock parts of the album with these more exploratory kosmische deviations, though by mid-point in the final track they find their space explorer vibe again and once again venture out into deepest uncharted galaxies. Great work – here’s to the next regeneration.