Brendan McNamara, the singer and songwriter for Extra Time, describes the album Songs with Long Titles as a “Steely Dan meets Supertramp” stylistic effort. There is a whole lot of sonic territory between those two band references, however. Steely Dan famously incorporated legitimate jazz sounds into smart and oftentimes snarky lyrical songs, which made it beautifully stand out from the softer sounds of the ‘70s. Supertramp was equally unique, as it matched progressive rock sounds with lyrics that were more personal and relatable than much of what is oftentimes associated with the progressive genre. Extra Time both is and isn’t like these two acts.

The album’s title likely began as a joke. Titling songs can be wordy and unwieldly at times. This was especially true during the emo era, when bands gave songs titles that read more like paragraphs from an essay than rock tunes. With that said, though, none of these songs are too long, nor difficult to remember, with the longest of these not passing a word count higher than six.

One hears that Steely Dan influence most conspicuously during “Little Boy Lost,” which incorporates a brass horn part and an especially jazzy electric guitar solo. However, “Mr. Winton,” which follows it, is much more orchestrated and is much nearer to orchestral pop, stylistically. This one also features a far away female vocal part. Speaking of horns, “Where Is The Light” kicks off with a horn section intro and includes some nice acoustic piano tinkling on it.

Extra Time is a Sydney, Australia based act that first met at school and has been creating music on and off together for many years now. It is their second full-length together. They’ve described these songs as tales about “life, death, delusion, joy, passion and dreams in classic rock album format.” Its words are many times intentionally vague and intended to be more impressionistic than literal. One titled “Trafalgar,” however, is a bit more pointed. Using an overt acoustic guitar rhythm track, it is a song about a particular place in time. The group creates more of a jangling rock song with “The Lost Man,” which adds folk rockfish electric guitar into the act’s jazzier template.


Extra Time is a band that explores the boundless possibilities of what a ‘rock band’ can be. While the Beatles inspired countless four-piece collectives to pick up instruments and create music together, Extra Time takes these basics, and then adds horns, strings and even tubular bells to the overall mix. Guitar, bass, and drums can – after all – be a bit limiting. But when what you hear in you head is so much more than ‘three chords and the truth,’ you just need to reach for that 64-color crayon box to make the full picture. Songs with Long Titles is a most colorful collection of songs. Even with traces of Steely Dan and Supertramp in and through it, this album doesn’t sound exactly like either of these acts anyplace. It’s more of a situation where these two types of bands have given Extra Time the liberty to be themselves, which is one compelling musical collective.

-Dan MacIntosh