Aside from the radical, retro column ‘In the Dust’ by Ben, the team at Thought on Tracks tends to focus on the brand new. We all make an effort to share our thoughts on what we think our readers should be listening to. I am passionate about introducing new music to the readers of this blog. However, I have come to the conclusion that there should be no expiration date on when an album can be reviewed. If I am listening to it and I think it rules, then I will now be sharing it, regardless of its release date. I pull back six months to share the self-titled release from Twerps.
If Real Estate makes your knees buckle, then Twerps is for you. This Melbourne product breeds a laid back vibe built on smooth, melodic guitar patterns. This album offers a sense of comfort and it improves with each play. This record is one that should have received more attention last year and I am on a grass roots campaign to put it in your rotation. With Anthony Davis like growing spurts, this record is a standalone winner. It is hard for me to put many bands in the same family as Real Estate, but I am doing it here so please take note.
The beginning of this record is crisp. Acoustic rhythm backed by electric fills. Lead singer, Marty Frawley’s vocals pop through the surface on “Dreamin.” This track was my introduction to the Twerps and remains my favorite. This track controls my mood with each play. I find myself getting lost in the lead fills, constantly discovering new sounds within their patterns. I wish every song that I listened to had this type of power.
Follow up track “Don’t Be Surprised” should be noted for its strong change of pace from verse to chorus. A mellow acoustic guitar and slow vocals introduce this track and it appears that the mood will peak at placid. The chorus screams, “Don’t be the one to call my name I don’t want to hear you calling my name” and now we have entered Stephen Malkmus world with the quick switch up. A mild-mannered track in a bit of a musical masquerade is the best way to describe this song. Just in case you are keeping track at home I have mentioned both Real Estate and Stephen Malkmus in this write up. Do I have your attention?
Towards the end of the record you get a bare bones offering of Twerps with the song “Bring Me Down.” Frawley displays a Willie Nelson type delivery with his words. Julia MacFarlane (backup vocals / bass) makes me melt during the chorus. A different, dynamic side of Twerps is seen with this track. This song might be simple and stripped, but helps to complete a captivating debut.
If you missed out on Twerps last year, then there is no better time to let their album introduce itself to you. The band offers melodic, lo-fi, Aussie, indie pop that inspires deep thought. This record caused me to slow down, take a step back and reflect. A half of a year is not so long after all. Twerps are currently on tour in the US with Real Estate. Check out their full tour schedule HERE.
Written by Brett McGrath
I have a mere 16 gigabytes on my iPhone – It is the bane of my day-to-day existence. Questions. Debates. Self-reflection. I constantly have to cut good albums from the roster to make room for new listening adventures. Deep down in my listening bowels I feel this to be necessary, however, the report tells me I need to SMACK myself in the face. Ticking time and money make it financially impossible for the upgrade that I deeply need. I eat it and fight it.
My first inclination is to tell the cats from Miracle Fortress that they were not the wave. The wave is high, but their contribution is minimal. I wish Miracle Fortress gave me something to consider. My only salvation is to listen to their music and attempt to digest its importance. I try to search for wave accreditation and fail. The drone sounds and half-worked dance mixes cause me extreme pain.
Miracle Fortress’ redeeming qualities might peek behind the curtain, but they lack confidence. They remind me of the smart kid in class who was always afraid to raise his hand. Potential might be a matter for debate but delivery is as reliable as a deadbeat dad’s monthly child support payment. Miracle Fortress is as conventional as a PB & J. The only problem is the Jiff ran out months ago. At least I know that if I put Bat For Lashess back into the mix, I will have “Daniel” and I won’t feel like a poser. My lunch break is back and it is delicious.
When, Father, Son, Holy Ghost dropped, I had a certain inner excitement. After receiving an early copy of the record, I realized that both previous Girls releases, Album and Broken Dreams Club EP had withstood the test of time. They had remained on my iPhone since their initial purchase. I sincerely enjoy Girls. It may be their San Francisco roots, which I candidly admit I am a SUCKER for, but my enjoyment goes beyond that. From the beginning, they have been their own boss and propelled their own evolution.
Girls makes it happen from track to track. There are few bands right now in the indie hemisphere who have been able to progress their agenda with minimal scrutiny quite like Girls. Album opened the door to the band, but left me to wonder, “Are these guys serious?” Many of the songs from Album seemed as if the band were playing around. This lack of seriousness on certain tracks defines the band.
The best part about Girls is that they challenge our listening experience by making us accept them. Do we really know them? Hardly, but we all trust in their vision. Their subtle projection for satisfaction tries to make us care. It is this dedication that causes me to pay attention.
“I’ve been messing with so many girls who could give a damn who I am”
Uncertainty, and a lust for comfort make Girls relatable. They might not be the band you play to your ex-girlfriend to rekindle ties, but they are the band you embrace to regain confidence. That’s Girls out of the box, and that is why they are special.
“Die” is a track that competes for my song of the year. Howling guitars and soothsaying prophecies help breed confidence in any man that has been shut out from sharing the sheets. Plenty more thrillers help smooth over the rough spots. Girls has continued to prove staying power. It might not be with a significant other, but this is why we listen…right?
Written by Brett McGrath.
We, at Thought on Tracks, are excited about an upcoming release from Muncie, IN’s The Bonesetters. Unfortunately, the project was derailed after the band’s label folded and they were left to foot the bill. Watch a video on how to help finance a their worthwhile project through a small donation:
Letter from the band:
Hello, this is Dan from Bonesetters! We are a four piece group of artists and poets who love making music together, and sharing that music with the world. We recorded an album, SAVAGES, in Novemeber and December of 2010 with the backing of a very small Muncie-based label. After approximately 14 days of studio time, we had completed our first child of an album and thought we would have it out by early 2011!
Fate changes course, though. Through turns and twists and money problems, the label folded and left several Muncie-based artists on hold for their respective records. In order to put our album out, we need some help.
What we really want to do is release SAVAGES on CD and pay for the recording of our record. The mixing was already paid for by the label (and Tyler did a great job), we’re currently paying for the album to get mastered by Sean McConnell ( great Chicagoan), and we already purchased ISRC codes! So all that we absolutely need is money to pay Frank Reber (of Reber Recording) $1000 for our recordings, and about $1000 for pressing our CD! Anything we get above our goal would help with future things, but we really just need to get this balloon off the ground! We also reallllllllyyyyyy just need you to hear our record :)!
We have some pretty cool things that we are giving away as rewards, too! We’ve got recordings and future recordings (Back to the Future?)! Ryan is going to be pressing more of his chapbooks for this, and Sam is throwing in his Supermodels EP! I’m giving my Tomato Soup Epiphone Hollow body ! Cody will give you his loving! Not to mention the Bonesetters BLOW OUT! A lot of fun things we got planned for all you great folks and then some!
Thanks for your support and we hope to see you at a show soon!
P.S. Thanks Andrew Quinn for the video!