Expert Timing – Live In Stereo EP

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Expert Timing

Live In Stereo - Count Your Lucky Stars Records

You don’t need me to tell you that it’s been a long year (and a bit), time has passed with nothing spectacular to mark it’s passing, which is why when Expert Timing‘s new EP, Live In Stereo, arrived in my inbox I was convinced it had been years since I had last encountered them. It turns out it’s only been eight months since their last EP, Whichever, Whatever, was released, an EP that brightened up a remarkable, in all the wrong ways, Summer with a sunny fuzzy hit of the band’s own ‘bubblegrunge’ soundtrack. Now it’s the following Spring and there’s a sense of hope in the air that things can start to return to something approaching normality, and if you needed something to underpin that hope then Expert Timing‘s new EP might just scratch that itch.

The Live in Stereo EP features four tracks recorded live at Shards in Bethlehem, PA in May of 2019 and a cover of The Formats track Wait, Wait, Wait. The first thing that strikes me is there are no tracks from Whichever, Whatever featured on Live in Stereo, instead the four live cuts go back into Expert Timing‘s history with three cuts, Cement, Never See Me Again and Classic Case Of Narcissism, being drawn from their 2018 full length, Glare and Sleep from 2017’s Selective Hearing EP. It shouldn’t be a surprise that studio polish is absent from the live recordings, whilst that ‘bubblegrunge’ fizz is still present this is a more claustrophobic and stripped down version of the tracks from their earlier releases, which is of course exactly as it should be with live music.

The Live In Stereo EP was originally surprise released via Count Your Lucky Stars Records for Bandcamp Friday and is now available via all major digital platforms, including the aforementioned Bandcamp. More than anything what Live In Stereo reminds you of is what was taken away from us just over a year ago, and what will hopefully return before too long. Whilst a live recording rarely captures the essence of a concert, maybe a handful of live releases have achieved that over the years, this is an EP that makes you long for the sticky floors of the sweaty basements, attics and back rooms of the grass roots venues we have all missed so much since the pandemic shut down our social lives.