Timothy Pure - Island Of The Misfit Toys

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Isosceles Records
Catalog Number: CD103
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:19:00

Being unfamiliar with Timothy Pure except by name, I was not expecting what I found in Island Of The Misfit Toys. Before I tell you what I found, I'll tell you what I was expecting. Given the title, I expected something with wry humour. You know, something that on the surface is humourous, but the nudge and wink tell you that it's a keen observation about some such thing.

Not so here. This is a dark and moody observation deceptively clothed in acoustic arrangements and understated vocals. It made me think of Discipline, Echolyn, ... well, a few American progressive bands of late ... with a dash of Queenryche. The first two may be obvious to those who know them - Discipline also create dark, moody, disturbing music (well, at this point, I've only heard Push and Profit). The Queenryche comparison has more to do with devices - vocal effects, concepts, ... though there are occassions where the music itself and its delivery is reminicent of some of the mellower Queenryche moments. I don't imagine that Timothy Pure are influenced by Queenryche in any way; though, I suppose, if they're fans, they might be.

Anyway, what I was expecting was not what I found. This isn't an album you can absorb in one sitting, it requires repeated listenings, close attention, and some thought. And because it makes some keen observations, reveals some truths, I'll leave the subject matter for you to discover. But I will tell you that this is a concept album.

So, instead, let's talk about how it sounds. As I mentioned, most of this album has an acoustic feel, though not all the tracks are acoustic. It does begin and end that way. It gives the album that deceptively light feel, until you read the lyrics and what this is all about. I also thought of America, listening to this, given the use of harmonies here; Crosby, Stills and Nash a bit too. And, during "Tribes" I thought of Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers" - not just in the arrangment, where the percussion is up front, but also lyrically. No whistles here, though, nor a repeated chorus.

Timothy Pure are Andre Neitzel on bass, Zod on guitars, Chris Wallace on drums and percussion, and Matthew Still on vocals and keyboards. Still has a great voice, and doesn't quite sound like anyone that I can point to immediately, though just on the edge of my thoughts there's someone...

Sonically and dynamically, "The Fly-man And The Snake" made me think of Marillion's "King" ... that same slow build to all hell breaking loose ... here it doesn't break quite as far, but has that same moment of chaos where sounds zip back and forth. And, in fact, there are some sonic parallels to Marillion of the This Strange Engine period - I'm thinking of mainly the title track there.

This a very pleasant album to listen to music wise - nothing harsh and grating; it sounds great, the playing is tight. Some beautiful guitar and keyboard passages here, too. All in all, a very solid release.


A Damp Preserve (2:33) / The Fly-man And The Snake (5:20) / Finders Keepers (6:19) / Hush (4:21) / The Engine Roars (2:06) / Tribes (5:49) / Playground Politics (6:33) / Mia's Game (3:32) / Misha Superhero (8:32) / Island Of The Misfit Toys (7:00) / Behind The Front (5:51) / Channels (3:17) / Safe (4:29) Soil (2:37)

Andre Neitzel - bass
Zod - guitars
Chris Wallace - drums and percussion
Matthew Still - vocals and keyboards

The Fabric Of Betrayal (1995)
Blood Of The Berry (1997)
Island Of The Misfit Toys (1999)
Bones Of Ghosts (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 21st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.myspace.com/timothypure
Hits: 2123
Language: english


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