by Mark Budd
VANCOUVER – Time and space — the essential forces on life’s path towards sensibility. When we separate time and space, we expose the self-doubt that colours life’s perils.
Time+Space, the new album from Vancouver’s Uptights, explores sensibility and self-doubt through a flight of anthemic rock songs. “It’s a nod to our own lives and the experience of making this record,” states guitarist Jason Stevenson. Recording the album took longer than expected after a bike accident required organist Jesse Gander to take time to heal. So Uptights slowed their pace and recorded in pieces over the following months. Stevenson points out that chipping away at the record gave Gander space to produce, “Ultimately creating a more nuanced recording.”
The nuances are in the crucial instrumental balance — a distinctive distorted guitar jangle, a swirling organ, the tasteful rhythm and bass duo of Barry Higginson and Tyler Mounteney — that flies alongside a rich vocal presence. Sing-a-long hooks are peppered throughout Time+Space, and each Uptight contributes lead and harmony vocals. It gives the record a collaborative and consistent feel.
“We thought that suited the vibe of the way we approach songwriting,” Stevenson explains. There is a similar balance on Time+Space retained from last year’s singles collection EP. Stevenson and Gander continue to share lead vocals equally. However, the rhythm and bass duo each take a turn in front of the microphone on songs like “Brinkmanship” and “In the Park.” These songs temper the otherwise energetic and up-tempo pace of the album.
The pace is expected. Uptights are a rock and roll band that harbours power-pop and garage sensibilities. Stevenson suggests, “None of us are so committed to an aesthetic that we feel we need to squeeze the songs into a mould.” And so the four-piece aptly guides the musical shape with lyrical commentary on indecision and acceptance that gives vivid substance — like a cleaner sounding Stiff Records band accented with the heartfelt honesty of Reigning Sound.
Uptights have followed a sensible trajectory: write songs, make records, play shows. With their newest album, the four-piece remains right on target to offering variety and spice in the world of rock and roll.
Uptights play their album release for Time+Space at The Biltmore Cabaret July 7 with Little Sprout and Brutal Poodle.Biltmore Cabaret, Uptights