10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tim Showalter has titled this 2014 album HEAL—all in capital letters—and it shows a hard rock approach that suggests something closer to Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy than any type of meditative or introspective healing. Working with producer John Congleton, engineer/synth player Ben Vehorn, and drummer Steve Clements, Showalter unleashes some serious ’70s/‘80s/‘90s–styled hard rock, far from the folk-rooted Americana of his previous work. “Goshen ’97” brings us back to his teenage years in Goshen, Ind., where he first imagined music as an escape. J Mascis adds a guitar solo that mirrors Showalter’s battling emotions from the time. The incredible seven-and-a-half-minute “JM” is a tribute not to Mascis but to the late Jason Molina, whose music (as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., and under his own name) greatly influenced Showalter’s intensely personal style. “Woke Up to the Light” finally slows things for a Mark Kozelek–like confessional. But little here settles for anything sedate. This is a big rock album with big beats and anthem-like songs that never teeter over into clinical bombast but remain infused with blood on the tracks.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tim Showalter has titled this 2014 album HEAL—all in capital letters—and it shows a hard rock approach that suggests something closer to Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy than any type of meditative or introspective healing. Working with producer John Congleton, engineer/synth player Ben Vehorn, and drummer Steve Clements, Showalter unleashes some serious ’70s/‘80s/‘90s–styled hard rock, far from the folk-rooted Americana of his previous work. “Goshen ’97” brings us back to his teenage years in Goshen, Ind., where he first imagined music as an escape. J Mascis adds a guitar solo that mirrors Showalter’s battling emotions from the time. The incredible seven-and-a-half-minute “JM” is a tribute not to Mascis but to the late Jason Molina, whose music (as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., and under his own name) greatly influenced Showalter’s intensely personal style. “Woke Up to the Light” finally slows things for a Mark Kozelek–like confessional. But little here settles for anything sedate. This is a big rock album with big beats and anthem-like songs that never teeter over into clinical bombast but remain infused with blood on the tracks.

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