Eight years have passed since Time Spent Driving released I’m Your Stab in the Back in 2007, and the new album released on July 21 brings the past to the present. Aptly titled Passed and Presence, the band with the 90s emotional feel at its core stays true to their roots including the reformation that includes the three original members.
The Santa Cruz, California based Time Spent Driving’s new release, though long awaited, serves to prove that even after many years on the shelf success is within reach. The band officially reformed in 2012, and this past week’s release should be to the delight of fans past and garner new ones in the present. The only downside to the release might be that nine tracks aren’t enough, but that should only fuel demand for future albums.
The tracks begin softly as if awakening from a dream and “#sixzeros” is the perfect starting point for an album so long awaited. “#sixzeros” is a 90s feel of emotion with the ever present focus on what is on the inside. “Applelike” with more power continues with the inside along with the familiar you and me reference that any 90s emo fan can quickly identify. The stick work by Kem Gallione is spectacular on “Applelike” and a not so typical sound currently heard in music. The rise and fall of tempo and sound for the tracks “Blame the Valley” and “Hey, You Dropped Something” bring not only the emotion classic to the 90s Nirvana and Pumpkins, but wades into rock riffs and a piano beautifully played by David Cattivera in “Hey, You Dropped Something” with a reminiscent sound of Christofori’s Dream. By the time the album hits its mid track with “I’m Not Done with You”, the reigns pull in tight for a sound so amazing that the title itself is more than a lyrical message, it is a statement of fact that every listener is now their captive, and you better not go anywhere. For any fan of the 90s genre of music the remaining tracks on the album are a delight. There is the emotion, the grind on the guitar, and the chest beat of the drum, and vocals soulfully matured from time and the experience that only time can afford us.
The final two tracks of “Through the Cage” and “Weight of the Water” are as magical as they are skillful. A heavy bassline holding the line with the drums and guitar in tow are incredible. Lyrically not too complex, the arrangement of the vocals is so well done that most of the tracks are over five minutes long and you still cannot get enough. The album in its entirety likens itself to an epic movie that keeps you in your seat for almost four hours and it did not feel like a minute over two.
Old fans rejoice and new fans come on down, this is the sound you need on your shelf, for they came off the shelf for your enjoyment. Time Spent Driving is available on Cardigan Records, iTunes, and the band’s website.
03 Blame the Valley
04 Hey, You Dropped Something
05 I’m Not Done With You
06 Sheep Shaped Words
07 Skins and Knees
08 Through the Cage
09 Weight of the Water
Time Spent Driving
Jon Cattivera: Vocals, Guitar
Derek Pabich: Guitar
Jonas Davidson: Bass Guitar
Kem Gallione: Drums, Vocals
David Cattivera: Piano, Keys
Review by Valerie Cason
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