Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Tim Version - Decline Of The Southern Gentleman

All is not Gainesville in the No Idea world, even if it may seem so a lot of the time. Var and Co. rep G-town to the fullest and luckily for us, it's not in an irritating 'Go Gators' sort of way. First a zine, then a label, and now purveyors of one of the best music fests ever, No Idea is making all the right moves. Hell, The Fest is rapidly even deposing SXSW as the go-to in my festival travel schedule and I’m no fan of shows in Florida. At all. Call it a Yankee thing. The Tim Version is from Tampa, but I’d break my FLA rock moratorium to go to their town, too.

The Tim Version sound a lot like their Gainesville brethren in Hot Water Music, but truth be told both bands (and a lot of the No Idea roster) owe a huge debt to the U.K. majesty that is Leatherface. Sunderland’s own Frankie Stubbs and his compatriots have combined Husker Du and Motorhead for some time now and while they may have flown below most people's radar on this side of the pond, their sound certainly has not gone unnoticed by Florida’s punk cognoscenti. The Tim Version boys even dare to up the ante and add some Replacements to the mix, which is never a bad move in my book. Decline Of The Southern Gentleman is more Sorry, Ma than Tim, but the band is named after the ‘Tim Version’ of Mats classic Can’t Hardly Wait, so I think we can call safely call them fully Mats compliant.

And pretty fucking great, to boot. The Mats influence is there: not only in the drunken guitar bends and loose arrangements, but also in the great songs and raw energy. This is not an overdub record: this is four guys, five or six cheap beers in, playing the fuck out of great punk rock songs with big ol’ hooks. Decline is a twelve-pack of hits and much like beers at the Tim Version rehearsal space, they pass quickly in a little over a half hour. Believe me, when it‘s done, you’ll want more.

No Idea has persevered from its humble beginnings to become the high water mark for punk labels today. They have weathered the loss of Hot Water Music like a champ and continue to expand their roster of great bands, most recently with Off With Their Heads, but with a host of other up and comers as well. Decline Of The Southern Gentleman is notable for being one hell of a great punk record in general and a great No Idea record in particular. It’s only short-coming might be that Team Tim have just released a comp of all their older, hard to find material called Still Have The Nerve To Call Themselves A Band on A.D.D. In it’s wake, Decline comes off a little weaker, but in the same way that The Thing is weaker than The Hulk. Either way, The Tim Version pack a hell of a punch.


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