Tindersticks, Jon Langford & Sally Timms | Epiphany Episcopal Church | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Tindersticks, Jon Langford & Sally Timms All Ages Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., March 12, 8 p.m. 2009

After a five-year hiatus and the loss of three founding members (including violinist Dickon Hinchcliffe, who cowrote most of the band’s songs) England’s Tindersticks bounced back last year with The Hungry Saw (Constellation). Because nothing defines the group’s sound as thoroughly as the sinister croon of front man Stuart Staples, which continues to slink through the elegant arrangements like a wary fox, the revamped lineup manages to sound like more or less the same band—though I definitely miss Hinchcliffe’s stark, caustic violin accents. In his lyrics Staples is still stumbling down the murky corridors of frayed relationships that end either ambiguously or badly, often leaving his narrators on the wrong side of the street. (On the title track he tweaks Simon & Garfunkfel: “Hello darkness my old friend / It’s time to jerk those tears again.”) The band’s grandiloquent instrumental landscape mirrors the emotional confusion in the songs, with horns and strings that quiver between sophisticated and maudlin. As usual, most of the tunes crawl along carefully, only rarely bearing down or ramping up, which makes it especially impressive that Staples can make them feel so dynamic—and onstage his smoldering presence is even more captivating. Jon Langford & Sally Timms open. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20

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