The Flashpot Moments – s/t
Some more rock and roll like this wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. Tim Cawley, otherwise known as The Flashpot Moments, is the guiding musical force behind this self-titled release and his desire for resurrecting big guitar rock with anthemic overtones is noble and pulled off quite well over the run of these eleven songs. His vocals are strong enough to carry the tunes and there’s an immense likeability emanating from how his personality presents the songs. There’s humor here, attitude, and a vivid imagination that gives the songs a distinctly individual spin further setting them apart from clichéd guitar workouts. One can say there is a concept behind the album, but it has much more to do with an aesthetic direction than any kind of theme. Tim Cawley is intent on bringing a personal vision to a form capable of entertaining and physically energizing the largest of possible audiences and the performances on this self-titled effort certainly point him in that direction.
It’s clear too that his invocation of melodic hard rock isn’t meant in an ironic way. This is no parody. An anthem like “Places Unknown” depends on its guitar work to make an impact, but the vocals have to be there as well and Tim Cawley more than delivers. The assortment of vocal approaches in this song brings its melodic strengths to the fore and slots in quite nicely with its band performance. “Strangers Dance” has some understated keyboard work opening the song and its presence throughout the remainder of the track makes things beefier overall. The melodic virtues in evidence on the opener are found here again and these qualities only increase the accessibility of a collection already falling all over itself to bring you into its experience. The linked track “’Splode (The Party Prelude)” and “Abigail, Mispronounced (The Party Aftermath)” work better when they are heard as two parts, but they are enjoyable individual listening experiences as well. The first track has a much more deliberate pace than the second, but the musical changes are quite dynamic and everything is confidently rendered. Cawley opens up the tempo some of the second song and it probably engages listeners physically a little more. His vocals on both tracks embody the experiences it depicts quite well.
“Hands Up!” is, without question, the hardest rocking moment on The Flashpot Moments and shows a variety of musical faces while still maintaining the same amount of sonic muscle. The warm, meaty sound of the guitar attack doesn’t mean it ever comes off as heavy handed; the drums and guitar throughout this album swing consistently and bristle with personality and attitude alike. “Can’t Wait To Find Out” has a bitter cast not shared by any of the album’s other songs, but his vocal has an appealing world-weariness that makes you want to listen despite the obvious pain in the performance. His writing is quite good here and it’s a sleeper cut on the release you don’t want to ignore. You can’t ignore the end either, a mammoth finale entitled “The Last Stand”. This is another strong musical and lyrical experience as well that never bogs down despite its length. Tim Cawley’s The Flashpot Moments makes a big statement with this release and it establishes Cawley as one of the indie rock scene’s most talented figures.
9 out of 10 stars