Tim & The Boys "Growing" LP
Side A: No Can Do, White Guys, Learn, First Cut, Hey, Hear Us
Side B: Nowhere To Go, Plastic Curtains, Two Cowboys, Gary Glitter's Eyes, Life, Silent Room
Tim & The Boys’ 'Growing' is a constant bait and switch. Songs swing from the satirical to the accusatory and back again, hook-laden intros blur into pointed aggressions, and honest sentiments soon reveal themselves as comedic slights.
It’s a record that lives and dies on dichotomies and double guessing. The grunted question of “Do you wanna have fun with me?” soon gives way to the laughing retraction of, “I’m not that kinda guy!” The suggestive query of “Do you get off on weakness?” is countered by, “Do you come on too strong?” And just when you think you have them pinned down, you come to realise that even naming their first record ‘growing’ is a juvenile double entendre.
'Growing' features drum-machine controlled garage jams that disintegrate at the seams. Through the driving bass of Dan Grosz (Dead Farmers), agitated guitars of Will Harley (Housewives, BB & The Blips) and the one-note synths and haggard vocal of Tim Collier, come sounds that tease the interface between punk and pop. The tension of working at borderlines materialises in the band’s live shows, which vary from jovial fist-in-the-air affairs (with an audience member once handing Tim a freshly peeled hard-boiled egg) to an unwelcome violent element resulting in forced moshes. Their audience is often unsure of how to take the band, and it’s hard to blame them when Tim grins and jokes between songs, before viciously shouting stolen Spice Girls lyrics in the chorus to ‘Hey’ (“a ziggi-zig-UH”).
With a mission to subvert and confuse, Tim & The Boys are one of the most interesting and thought-out members of a new crop of bands from the well-spring of Sydney, Australia. Through childish jokes and pointed commentary, they search for the grotesque in pop culture (in Spice Girls, in Cat Stevens, in Anastacia, in Gary Glitter) and re-fashion it through a distorted lens.
Like Devo without the costumes, Country Teasers without the hate speech, Big Black without the whiny gear nerd at the front, and Black Randy without the repulsive back story, Tim & The Boys toy with form, style and structure to deliver a record that refuses to be pigeonholed.