Florida band Expert Timing’s personal second album Stargazing finds the band looking at the stars around them, above them, and behind them.
Emo’s hearth may traditionally reside in the American midwest; after all genre staples, American Football, Cap’n Jazz, and The Get Up Kids all have landlocked roots, but middle America is far from the root of Expert Timing’s Stargazing.
Part of Florida’s recent rise in prominence in the emo world, Expert Timing, alongside fellow sunshine state locals Camp Trash and Pool Kids have each recently delivered some dreary, sun-kissed bops. For indieheads or those who just don’t want to listen to a dozen Machine Gun Kelly and Olivio Rodrigo clones, Expert Timing joins their contemporaries in creating a stellar catalog of high-quality modern Floridian-style emo.
Some bands can feel as if they’re pulling in two directions when having two lead vocalists, but Expert Timing’s Jeff and Katrina Snyder have a perfect synergy whether going solo or trading off, like on opening track “Special Hell.” Both singers give strong performances throughout Stargazing and will leave listeners excited for more.
Some of the most compelling lyrical moments the vocal duo has to offer on Stargazing comes from the pair doing as the album title suggests and gazing at the “stars.” “New Queen” is a biting portrayal of the music industry’s history of churning through stars for newer models ready to step into the starlight and has one of the strongest tracks instrumentally to boot.
“I Can See You Dancing” is an equally compelling concept with its approach to stage performance and being a star. “Believe when I say it’s true, I did everything you asked me to do, I can be nostalgic too, Alone with my stage fright, dancing in the spotlight.”
The recently released single “Kick Rocks” takes the album’s name more literally, detailing the moments of stargazing and contemplating your anxiety before building up enough confidence to overcome them.
The self-described bubble grunge quartet’s grunge influences also shine on the self-doubt-fueled “Super Ordinary Unimpressed,” and the track features some excellent vocals and a clever Nirvana homage on the hook.
The Orlando, Florida natives’ ability to close tracks is a testament to their namesake, as they truly have Expert Timing throughout the closing seconds of tracks. Whether slowing down and speeding the track back up on “Autonomy,” swapping between the band’s lead vocalists on “Special Hell” or an Illuminati Hotties-style spoken word vocal switch on “Hey Friend,” the band never runs out of ideas.
Drummer Gibran Colbert is excellent throughout Stargazing and carries the momentum of many of the track’s stellar back halves. Colbert comes in late on “Autonomy,” but quickly becomes the standout element of the track and kills it as the track speeds back up at the end. “New Queen,” already a standout track for its lyrical content, is enhanced even more by its strong drum play.
With the best entry in the band’s discography to date set to arrive on September 23, fans should be ready for an introspective joyride coming their way.