Time and Energy – Strange Kind of Focus

California based duo Time and Energy are releasing their newest album Strange Kind of Focus on November 16. Time and Energy are the two very talented musicians Jorge Rios (vocals, guitar, bass, keys and percussion) and Brennan Roach (drums, bass, keys, guitar, clarinet) who produce alternative and experimental indie rock that will instantly satisfy you.

Time and Energy was formed out of the ashes of a four piece rock band so Rios and Roach picked up where their band mates left off. They took control and made Time and Energy into the amazing mish-mash band they are today. Their debut Entertainica bled its way into the independent music scene three years after they formed featuring numerous experimental tracks blending their influences with jazz, blues, electronica and indie rock.

Time and Energy Strange Kind of Focus

Album artwork for Strange Kind of Focus

Time and Energy have been compared to the likes of Radiohead, Badly Drawn Boy and Beck but to some extent these comparisons lack evidence. Time and Energy, although sounding at times like Beck, are more unique than they have been given credit for.

Every track on the album brings something to the record. There’s not one track on there that is boring or too similar to a previous track. Breakdown is a fantastic acoustic track while the band’s strong jazz influences can be heard in Split Clean through the use of clarinet at the beginning. This is a great unique sound that shouldn’t work but does. Split Clean is an odd song and does sound like a mix of different noises which can be loosely referred to as musical but it doesn’t matter how strange or weird it is because it just works.

DaDaDa is a track that can be likened to the Beatles with Rios’ Paul McCartney style angry vocals. It’s not too hard to see this song fitting into the 60s experimental scene. Rios vocals don’t sound the same in every song. His vocals stretch from being soft to angry, from being pleasant to excitable.  Track eight, O Molly, is a little Jim Morrison like on the vocals but more in tune than Morrison ever was. Not only is Time and Energy an experimental band that will literally have a go at anything but having a vocalist like Rios means no song ever becomes dull. You’ll notice something new with every listen of the songs.

Time and Energy

Jorge Rios and Brennan Roach of Time and Energy

My favourite song has to be Think It Through which is a lovely acoustic number which sounds more pleasant than the meaning behind the lyrics. It’s a song about how corrupt and depressing society is yet these lyrics are placed against a backdrop of juxtaposing music that has a great happy jazz feel to it. There’s a jazzy piano solo after the first verse which gives the song a sort of ironic feel.

Time and Energy could easily win themselves a slot at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival as their style is typically experimental jazz. Every track has strong jazz influences in it. Their style is a mix of experimental jazz and electronica which has allowed them to produce ten solid, ground-breaking songs that are completely unique in every way. I can guarantee you wouldn’t have heard anything quite like Time and Energy before. This reason alone is enough to persuade you to buy the album.

Strange Kind of Focus was self-recorded at a house in the woods of Santa Cruz County. It’s available to buy from November 16.

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