Sound of Time is odd, experimental and inaccessible for the majority of music listeners. That being said, Andrew MacGregor, AKA Gown, has accumulated an impressive discography of reverb soaked psychedelia to intrigue those who are unafraid to venture into the depths of alternative music. Considering his collaborations with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore in The Bark Haze as well as with the Sunburned Hand of the Man, he has shown that there is indeed a market for the weird and alienating. This album may not be the best example of MacGregor’s work, but offers a satisfying mix of unearthly sounds to lose yourself in.
Reminiscent of a broken down version of stoner rock icons, Kyuss, Gown delivers those weighted soundscapes that make staring into space seem like a half-decent way to spend an evening. The guitarscapes echoing alongside MacGregors languid, monotone vocals in the opening track “Dawns” fail to drift together pleasantly leaving one with strange feeling of dissonance. Oddly enough though, it’s easy to get lost and drift away while listening to the thick layers of droning and repetitive chant “there is always time.” Before you can snap out of the reverberation induced trance, just under eleven minutes will have passed you by.
The album drones with little change In fact, if you’re not paying close attention songs and time will meander past you. During the second song, “Departure,” the atmosphere resembles Joy Division and Ian Curtis’s influence are evident in MacGregor’s vocals. On its own, “Departure” is the most pleasant. However, despite its influences, the song itself doesn’t resonate on an easily recognizable note. The murmuring seems to hit something deeper, as if MacGregor is searching for an all-encompassing sound to encapsulate the whispers of the universe. “Departure” feels complicated and despondent, like being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a map written in a foreign language. Despite the slight change in tone during the third track “As Time Becomes,” the atmosphere gets lost in the same work of fancy foot pedals and flickering that seems to drawl throughout the entire album. As the album comes to an end, “Universe” does the job of tying the rest of Sound of Time together, with the same murmuring that stimulates contemplation and evokes bizarre visuals with a sense of closure.