Here’s the review from the current issue of THE NERVE
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
“The Shadow Out of Tim”
A concept album! An amazing collection of joyously whacko rock from another new favourite Vancouver band for all of us to collapse before, weeping in abject joy. It would seem as if the deepest boroughs of the Lower Mainland (namely Abbotsford) continue to show Vancouverites how thoughtful, whimsical, and powerful prog-pop can be, and few Canadian bands can stand up to The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets when it comes to that stuff. The album’s theme and concept deals with an unwitting marine biologist raising Lovecraftian horrors from the blackened depths of the sea…I think. The research ship gets hijacked by cultists off the coast of New Zealand, people die horribly, minds are lost to the madness of the interstellar gulfs, yeti appear; all sorts of good shit if you ever read Clark Ashton Smith fantasies while you played Greenslade in the background. There’s even a song of Cthulhu mythos (“Nyarlathotep,” of course) sung in I’m-not-kidding Middle Egyptian! Jesus. A handy glossary of unfamiliar terms caps off the lyric sheet; helpful, these Thickets. Just when I think there’s nothing left in rock, I get reawakened and hope burns anew. And I haven’t even started in on these guys’ unparalleled live show. Enjoy this album.
This is a good review, and not just because it’s a POSITIVE review. Even though some of the dots aren’t connected, it’s clear that this guy gets us. He (or she) gets the fact that this is a narrative, and that the evil is tongue-in-cheek, and that it’s supposed to be fun. It’s clear he doesn’t know the band THAT well (“EVEN a song about the Cthulhu mythos”? – They’re MAINLY about the Cthulhu mythos), but he gets the gist of it. I think this is the first review that affirms to me that the album can appeal to the layman, not just the tried-and-true veteran Thickets fan who knows the name of the cat from HPL’s “The Rats in the Walls.” This means I did what I set out to do. Yay!
I need to start a tally of all the sub-genres in which The Thickets have been classified.