TIMMY'S ORGANISM - Heartless Heathen LP
Detroit garage punk heroes Timmy's Organism submit their meatiest work yet on Heartless Heathen, their debut LP for Third Man Records. Since the mid-'90s, frontman Timmy Vulgar has kept the hearth fires burning, weathering the peaks and declines of the world's interest in the Motor City with a stalwart dedication to his own Midwestern D.I.Y. ideology. Since launching Timmy's Organism as a solo venture in the late 2000s, he's continued to bash out wicked, noisy fare with an assortment of outside influences, but always with a molten rock & roll core. On their later releases, Timmy's Organism has identified more as a band than a solo effort, and the tight-knit trio featured here is comprised of Vulgar on vocals and guitar with returning bassist Jeff Giant and newcomer Blake Hill on drums. Opener "Get Up, Get Out" is a ripping call to arms with a vigorous punk spirit and some burly, MC5-ish guitar licks so fuzzed-out that the strings practically play themselves. The title track is another fog-cutter with low, Sabbath-like riffs that lay like stone columns over which Vulgar piles intense wah-wah bursts and gross slabs of tone-evaporation. In fact, the heightened production value on Heartless Heathen draws more attention to the intensity of Vulgar's guitar playing, which really shines throughout these ten songs. He's not a flashy player, but his mix of controlled chaos and total abandon while managing to deliver accessible songs is a lot harder to pull off than you'd think. Masked by the freewheeling chunkiness of "Mental Boy" and "Back in the Dungeon" are the veteran rock chops of all three players who make a huge amount of noise for a trio. A pair of nice, midtempo ballads adorn the front and back sides of the record in the mellotron-aided punk/glam epic "Please Don't Be Going" and the psych-plodder "My Angel Above," adding some additional depth and a break from Heartless Heathen's overall mind-scrambling attack. One of the album's strongest highlights arrives midway through with "Wicked Man," a sludgy punch to the solar plexus whose visceral tone and vibe represent just how on point Timmy's Organism is on this release.