Live Review of Mary Timony in Los Angeles

The Lodge Room  Los Angeles, CA

Contact: [email protected]

Web: marytimonymusic.com

Players: Mary Timony, guitar, vocals; Betsy Wright, guitar, vocals; Chad Molter, bass, vocals; David Christian, drums

Material: Mary Timony has thoroughly earned her reputation as an indie rock goddess for the past few decades. She made quite the impression with her band Helium in the '90s, and has since collaborated with members of Sleater Kinney in Wild Flag, and has recently performed as Ex Hex, featuring a more '90s glam-rock sound. Her material frequently echoes some of the same melodic and rhythmic sensibilities as N.Y.C. guitar pioneers Tom Verlaine and Thurston Moore. The chord progressions are intriguing and the accompanying (often dual) lead lines are strongly melodic and have a compelling quality.

Musicianship: Timony's compositions rely on a very precise rhythm section, and drummer Christian provided a rock solid beat. Bassist Molter locked in expertly and often provided some great high end runs as well. Betsy Wright was the perfect guitar foil,having performed with Timony's aforementioned last ensemble Ex Hex, and her frequent dual leads and impeccable rhythms were spot on, as well as her background vocals. And Mary Timony's playing is fascinating—she can be heavy without being metal, and her bell-toned leads combine angular riffs with soaring lines.

Performance: The set was primarily composed of selections from her latest release Untame The Tiger, opening with the mesmerizing lead lines of  the opening cut "No Thirds," reminiscent of classic CBGB band Television. Timony is not the most extroverted performer, but she presents an affable presence, genuinely thanking the audience for their frequently rabid response.

She writes some great lyrics combining loneliness and emotional loss with impressionistic lyrics, for example on the fourth song "Not The Only One," she sings, "Beyond the silver pools pillars fell, Nature's no fool, that year was here and won't be back again," but unless you knew the lyrics, the music often overpowered the vocal delivery. Bassist Molter did some great work on the Helium classic "Leon's Space Song," but was by far the loudest instrument on the epic Helium closer "Walk Away." Overall though, this is nitpicking on a 100 percent solid set, and the band responded to the packed crowd with a two-song encore.

Summary: Mary Timony is a shining beacon of talent and female power, and presents a unique and tasty vision of indie guitar rock. The overall presentation is compelling and well-paced, and the precise instrumental interplay and arrangements elevate this band to the upper echelon. Don't miss her next time she comes to town!