Album Review: Timothy Nelson & The Infidels - Terror Terror, Hide It Hide It

11 August 2014 | 9:36 am | Cam Findlay

"As Terror Terror, Hide It Hide It proves, the results can be sublime"

In Timothy Nelson’s ‘new’ musical direction, you can hear bits of classic pop moments from throughout history. Terror Terror, Hide It Hide It is ELO in its synth and string effects, Spoon or David Byrne in its rhythmic groove and yeah, maybe even The Beatles in its earnest attempt to understand what makes pop music work.

The fact is that this, Timothy Nelson & The Infidels’ second album, stretches over four or five years in terms of songwriting, and it shows. Dark-edged r’n’b, 2-Tone and Stax-referencing grooves all get a look-in, Nelson’s heart-on-sleeve sincerity and yearning drawing the whole thing together. In fact, and through no deliberate act by the band, the whole thing plays like the acceptance stage of grief, as intensely personal as it sounds. But it’s in the delicacy and composure with which Nelson handles his songs, maybe for the third or fourth time, that he shines.

Joel Quartermain’s mitts are all over the album, and in it he has proven abilities beyond the usual balls-to-the-wall rock fare; this is an album of deftly-managed consistency and measured flair. Quartermain and Nelson’s wins include how well the instrumentation is shared. The bass and piano meld almost perfectly, and the high end of the violin wraps everything in a velvet glove.

The thing about pop music is that, to make great pop music, you can’t just read the rulebook; you have to tear some bits apart and rearrange them. As Terror Terror, Hide It Hide It proves, the results can be sublime.

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