Exactly 30 years ago I reviewed Timelock’s debut album, ‘Louise Brooks’, in #17 of Feedback as well as reviewing ‘SI Magazine Compilation Disc Too’ in the same issue which contained their song “Touchdown”, which I actually felt was better than anything on the album. Since then their history has been fairly fractured, and I could not believe it when I was sent their comeback EP ‘Stay Awake’ which was released in 2021, and then the following year came this their fifth album, the first since 2008. Only one of the four tracks on the EP can be found here, with the title cut now appearing on the album in a much longer and full version. Some 30 years on from the debut and founders Ruud Stoker (lead & backing vocals) and Julian Driessen (keyboards, synthesizers) are still there, but they are the only survivors from the last album, ‘Buildings’.
I have always been a fan of Ruud’s vocals, and the years have done nothing to deteriorate them as he still has a very clear sound indeed, but the main issue with this album is the quality of the material itself. Some songs, such as “Everlasting”, just appear to meander and feel rather pointless with repeated melodies which do not seem to be getting anywhere. Looking at my review of the EP it appears I felt the same about that one and actually said I was not sure if I would be inspired enough to check out the main release, but here I am anyway. Like other Dutch neo bands from the Nineties they often played fast and loose with the prog sound, often coming much closer to melodic rock and AOR and unfortunately some of the blandness which one can get from that style is often prevalent here. There is even a 19-minute epic in “The Great Cover-Up Story” but even that is not enough to generate consistent interest and the overall result is a good album, but certainly not essential, although those into the AOR/prog crossover genre may find this more interesting than I did.