ALBUM REVIEW: Family Time – ‘The Great Abismo’

Family Time unleash their long awaited debut album entitled ‘The Great Abismo’, but what’s it all about?

From the early ding of a bell, footsteps and the unmistakable clang of an elevator door on introduction track ‘Check In’, my curiosity was aroused. But what is ‘The Great Abismo’?

The unique story of the creation of the Family Time‘s debut album ‘The Great Abismo’ is an interesting one, the Spanish band relocating from London to the island of Mallorca to record in full and produce videos before returning to London to play it live to unsuspecting audiences. The band also embarked on a tour of hotels in mainland Spain, incredible footage of which can be found in the band’s video for previous single ‘Magic Abyss Hotel’ (here).

‘Magic Abyss Hotel’ opens the record and displays a love of groove-addled bass lines, woozy synths and shape-shifting rhythms which keeps you on your toes. ‘Jet Lag’ is perhaps the most immediately exciting track on the record, bass and guitar rhythms duel to build an addictive groove, heavy on symbols and vocal hooks a plenty.

‘Lulu’ is a more restrained affair as we see the introduction of a Spanish guitar alongside pulsating synths which provides a backdrop to a long lost love story. ‘Another Night On The Isle’ opens with an eery, drone-like organ buzzing alongside Family Time‘s now-hypnotic, carnival-esque synth play. Drums hit hard and collide with bass lines with too much groove to not move to, making each track a slow-burning cult classic.

‘Room 301’ merges down tempo electronics with wonky art-pop, “she said she’d only love you with the lights off, well it was only in the dark that she could find love” croons Max, Family Time‘s frontman, in a track that hits home as hard live as it does on the record. We’re treated to two interludes, ‘Thursday Night Special Pt. 1’ which can only be a clip from the band’s hotel tour of Spain, and ‘.. Pt. 2’ a touching late night feel acoustic moment. Beautiful and very different moments from the record come in the form of ‘Los Sardinas’, a buoyant groove-based track with a brass section and Spanish rhythms.

By the time ‘The Grand Collide’ arrives towards the end of the album Family Time have made their mark sonically, the track’s sprawling lounge-pop intricacies complete with a soaring chorus is somewhat the icing on the cake. ‘Mythology’ and it’s intimate acoustic lead reminds of NYC’s The Walkmen in their most minimal and romantic state.

‘Goodbye Honeymoon Suite’ ends the record, it’s a memory, a love letter to the departure of an emotional experience, or as the band put it “.. a cinematic experience which twists and turns along with our hero’s troubled mind, at times gentle, at times frantic, often unsettling”.

With interludes and sound bites all providing pieces of the puzzle to Family Time‘s “holiday opera”, ‘The Great Abismo’ is truly a unique experience and concept. It is a discovery whereby each listen unlocks a new secret from tales which are now nothing but legend on the island.

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NEW MUSIC: Just Mustard – ‘Seven’.

NEW MUSIC: Family Time – ‘Room 301’.

PREMIERE: Strange Cages – ‘Glitter & Ash’.

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By Karl Johnson

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