(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
Hailing from South Wales, Times Up formed in 2006, and their debut album Storm Coming In has been out for a while now. Although the band is a recent phenomenon, each member has been in the music business for over twenty years. Times Up play a style of rock firmly rooted in the 70s with modern twists cropping up here and there. This is not full-fledged progressive rock, however, there are some progressive overtures that should appeal to many of our readers. Although some of the melodies permeating this disc were instantly appealing it took a little time for me to fully capture what this band is all about. Part of the reason is that there were no songs that immediately rocked my world, however, all of the songs offered are consistently good and deserve to be heard. Hopefully the 'powers that be' are listening because Times Up unfortunately do not have a record contract.
The band consists of Geoff Smith (lead vocals, keyboards and principal lyricist), Mike Hagland (lead guitar), Andy Gibbon (bass, vocals) and Steve Leman (drums and percussion). Upon first listen the strong vocals of Geoff Smith were readily apparent. He has a very good voice, well suited to Times Up brand of 70s flavoured rock and roll. Some of the songs have a slight psychedelic edge mainly due to guitarist Mike Hagland. His hard rock style is akin to past 70s guitar players and forms the basis of these seven songs. Keyboards are present but are generally used in the background to add fullness to the sound.
The straight ahead melodic rock of "Times Up" starts the CD in fine fashion with a nice contrast between hard rock power chords and mellow introspective parts. Part one of the two part title track includes a melodic dreamy soundscape with prominent keyboards and stormy weather samples. Part two retains the melody but is more upbeat with jangly rhythms and excellent vocals and background harmonies before an intense guitar solo takes center stage. "Twilight Times" is a moody progressive piece with an Eastern motif with sharp bursts of electric guitar and gentle played Spanish guitar before returning to pure hard rock grooves where the bass playing of Andy Gibbon is prominently featured.
With repeated listens, Storm Coming In has really started to grow on me. This is a highly accessible album that should have crossover appeal to fans of melodic and/or classic psychedelic 70s rock.