Expert Timing’s “Glare” Captures The Essence of Pop Punk Revivalist Groups

By: Connor Hayes

Expert Timing’s Jeff and Katrina Snyder may fit the bill of just another husband-and-wife-formed-band, but their song-writing, along with drummer Gibran Colbert’s prowess, shows they are far more than a cliché.

Opener, Don’t Look Back, emphasizes themes that become recurrent throughout the album, those of learning from heartache, from loss, from doubt: “Watching, waiting feelings pass, haunting, hopeful, don’t look back.”

It’s with tracks like Disastrous that Expert Timing shows their knack for remaining present, both lyrically and sonically. With an outset that teases Smith Westerns, yet delivers pragmatic advise like “With the spark that starts the fire, all you do is burn yourself out, you won’t get there any faster,” they are weaving together such disparate elements to fashion a meticulous tapestry. It isn’t just pretty to look at, it also works.

Never See Me Again’s jangly and devil may care disposition give way to Smother’s powerhouse of melody and dissonance. An effervescent guitar flits back and forth between heavy-handed harmonic riffs, with a clarion call for the indecisive as a chorus: “Let your past decide, where you draw the line.” If this wasn’t subtle enough, Katrina comes in with imperative crooning, “When will you see it?”

With Jeff leading vocals, Alone explores the commonalities between physical and emotional loneliness, and our reliance on abstract communities created through social media to fill those holes. Sever Your Ties, true to its name, implores self-reliance and putting one’s happiness first: “Sever your ties, its never easy letting go.” The track order seems deliberate; these tracks work like a left jab-right hook of mutualistic themes.

Channeling Speedy Ortiz’s chaotic guitar-led material, Cement reflects it’s theme of world-weariness by just sounding unhinged, and this is fantastic, while I Just Might Surprise You is about the hope, uncertainty, and emotional vulnerability that comes with a new romance.

If self-worth already seems to be a prevalent theme across the album, Littlest Amount simply drives home the point of not loosing sight of personal mores and standards: “Sell yourself out, and you do it for the littlest amount.”

Though their instruments form harmonies on several tracks, Jeff and Katrina’s duet forms the luminescent core of title track, Glare. On an album filled with imperatives to act, to feel, to be, a ballad simply based around two lovers is refreshingly welcomed.

“You are the shining sea, I’ll be the light that beams across the water.”

With recurrent themes that are brought up and driven home, and with its convergence of messages, Glare could have belonged to the plethora of pop punk revivalist groups of the 2000s, not as a release, but as a pillar of the genre. Luckily for us, they’re just getting started.

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