The Thymes – EP (Shag Records)
The Thymes are a four-piece band from St. John’s, Newfoundland, with exquisite taste, when it comes to influences. The band (Jeremy Rice: vocals and guitar / Leon White: lead guitar / Gene Browne: bass / Mike Dinn: drums) plays immediately accessible guitar-pop, which triggers happy memories of Television (circa “Adventure”), Matthew Sweet, early Wire and The Kinks in the ‘70s. Rice’s vocals are strong and confident, with a scratchy new wave edge, which is elegantly complimented by lead guitarist White’s sinewy runs and lean soloing.
The EP opens with “Trunk” and it’s a fantastic track, full of energy and vim, and chock full of barbed hooks. It doesn’t hang around either. Browne and Dinn propel the song forward with some urgency, and it’s all over in a very sweet two and a bit minutes. It’s a great start, and the follow it with the slower, more contemplative “The Word”, though it doesn’t sacrifice pop appeal on the alter of earnestness - it’s still damn catchy.
“Memory Train” rolls along in some considerable style, with a massive sing-a-long chorus along for the ride, and enough “ooh-oohs” to fill a Beatles convention. At just six tracks long and clocking in well under 20 minutes, the unsuspecting listener can’t help but be left craving more. Fortunately they leave one of their top tracks for a big finish. “Ghost Machine” is a chugging, power pop gem, with bundles of radio potential.