Strange Kind Of Focus

Time And Energy

Independent release, 2012

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


The quote “don’t judge a book by its cover” might be apt for certain books and albums, but definitely not for Strange Kind Of Focus, Time And Energy’s sophomore record. Is the album quirky? Funny? Serious? Disturbing? And ultimately, the chaotic hodgepodge of music on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 A Strange Kind Of Focus is even more interesting than its album cover.

The gritty and noisy loop-based sound of this duo (comprised of Jorge Rios and Brennan Roach) has an almost garage rock feel to the way it flows. There is an element of cavalier carelessness in the band’s music, which is actually what drives the album and makes it work. For instance, the ease with which the band makes the sloppy clarinet and saxophone cacophony (along with the drunken singing) on “Split Clean” sound like some sort of a jazz masterpiece reflects their snarky sense of humor. But on the following track “Da Da Da,” the group doesn’t have to pretend to be creating some sort of a masterpiece. The noise of the synths and guitars on this track, combined with its chaotic rhythmic shifts and manic singing, is anything but sloppy; it is fascinating.

But there is also a laidback side to this two-piece that is quite a contrast from their seemingly maniacal persona. On such occasions, Time And Energy sounds more like a regular melodic indie rock outfit. It is hard to imagine that this band can also create a nice pop song like “Hot Air” with its Latin flair and charming Spanish singing. Rios has a smooth and soothing voice, though he almost never uses in its most natural form, instead choosing to improvise. However, when he does sing naturally, on the beautiful “Sitting On A Scale” for instance, he sounds heavenly, making for a truly memorable moment in the album.

Time And Energy is very much a DIY outfit, a fact that shows up like an uninvited guest in their music every so often, but this is nothing that the band’s passion and creative cleverness cannot conquer.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.