It seems that several times this year, I've gotten albums by groups who have all the elements in place for me to like their album, but for some reason the execution just didn't quite measure up and left me scratching my head. A perfect example of this is the Saxon Shore, whose The Exquisite Death Of The Saxon Shore left me shaking my head a bit. Like that group, The Timeout Drawer creates long, instrumental post rock tracks that rely on slow crescendos of sound and big releases that mix more standard rock instrumentation and buzzy synths, and unfortunately like that group, I feel like I've heard too much of this before.
In large part, one of the biggest problems with the group is that a good portion of the songs on the album progress in eerily similar ways. "There Is So Much Love," "Nothing Can Stop Me," "I Fall So Far, I Fall So High" and several others all start out with noodling synth and guitar intros as minimal percussion taps out some time while other swirling sound effects rush around before the tracks all build into something louder and more significant (the mood of each changing only slightly depending on whether the synth or guitars take the lead during the heavier sections). On the flip side, "Bursting With Tears, I Commit To Destroying You" starts out loud then gets quiet again before closing with a crashing finale.
All of the above is not to say that there's nothing worth hearing on the album, because that's not the case. The group is obviously talented at creating a certain atmosphere and the album is produced nicely. "Blue Eyed And Filled With Horror" drops some huge riffage and juxtaposes it with a pretty flute interlude while "This Narrow Room Is World Enough" eschews their usual quiet/loud formula by keeping things mellow the entire time and standing out because of it. The album closer "What Looked Like Morning Was The Beginning Of Endless Night" churns out a prog-rock meltdown that puts a nice punctuation on the release and ends it out nicely. That said, if you've listened to any great amounts of post rock over the course of the past couple years, The Timeout Drawer probably isn't going to cut through the noise for you.