Record Label: Chapter Music/Underwater Peoples
Australian lo-fi noise rockers Twerps recently put out their second release and first full length album. The self titled recording follows the 2009 release Good Advice and continues to expose their college rock Flying Nun sounding sensibilities. The ‘80’s pop influenced Melbourne group is made up of guitarist/ vocalists Martin Frawley and Julia McFarlane, bassist Rick Milovanovic and drummer Patrick O’Neill. Despite their influences, Twerps has more in common with the band’s contemporaries Real Estate or Kurt Vile than their other work has done. The chilled out riffs, reverb and stripped back sound give the songs a surf-rock feel.
The album as a whole feels low key, it certainly sounds like it wasn’t over-thought in anyway, and in turn the unpolished vocals and jangly guitars really do a lot for the momentum of the release. Julia McFarlane and Martin Frawley are key to the band’s overall sound with their awkward sounding vocals and intertwining guitarriffs. Opener Dreamin’ is one of the faster paced, driving songs, (which is saying
something) the bass lines feature frequently and contrast with the high pitched melodies sung over top. McFarlane sings backing vocals in this song, and a lot of the others and it would have been nice to hear her fronting a few more songs.She does get to take lead vocals in This Guy – the track is a lovely unpolished sounding ditty in which she places emphasis on the rhyming words “another” and “discover” repeatedly, “ I let you go, you touch the sky…I’ll die for you if you want me to” she sings sadly.
Catchy riffs surround Frawley’s reflection on drinking and relationships in Who Are You, he sings “Who are you to be acting the way that you do? We’ll get drunk, we’ll get high, we’ll get stoned. Who are you to be saying all the things that you do?”. His slow, talk-y vocals in Bring Me Down add a story telling
aspect to the narrative whilst backing vocals from McFarlane keep it sweet and melodic. The off key, monotone vocals in Peculiar sound very similar to those of Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. In fact, Twerps do sound like they could be signed to Flying Nun Records, but on this release they’ve grown up, developed
their own sound and added their own twang.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.