Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Album Review: Twerps - Range Anxiety

Melbourne, Australia’s Twerps seem like a quartet of pretty easy-going folks. Their Merge Records debut, Range Anxiety, strolls through peaceful and fun pop, punk, and rock settings.

With the intro and first song, “I Don’t Mind,” Twerps sets the pace with a big, easy groove that’s natural to fall into. It’s not slow, but it’s not urgent either. There’s plenty of motion, but Twerps seem content to let the music go where it wants to. This isn’t quite back-porch music or driving with the windows down music. Range Anxiety is hammock music or maybe a soundtrack for an impromptu adventure that doesn’t really go anywhere.

Twerps keeps songs relatively short, around two or three minutes, so they never wear out their welcome. They keep the washed out production throughout, but vary the tempo and tones to keep things from getting bland. “Back to You” bounces along with an instantly familiar chorus back by a playful synth. “Adrenaline” emphasizes the beat with huge downbeats. They lean into them and stretch the tempo just a bit to exaggerate the swaying, dream-like quality.

“Cheap Education” is one of the few departures from the formula. Twerps catch the listener off guard with dissonances and angular guitars that feel more like The Minutemen than Mac DeMarco. That’s followed up by “Love at First Sight” that staggers drunkenly back and forth with a hint of Magnetic Fields.

Twerps latest record shows they have a lot of dimensions and Range Anxiety will be well-suited to the coming transition from winter to spring and summer.

Twerps will play The Pinhook in Durham on March 16 with Ultimate Painting. Tickets are $10 in advance.

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