Great New Reissue from the Tronics

Just in time for Valentines Day, you can pick up this incredible reissue of the Tronics classic Love Backed by Force. Sure, it came out decades ago, but you can definitely throw it right into the current mix, and it would fit right along side bands like Beat Happening or Television Personalities–both solid bands in my book.  The good people over at Whats Your Rupture will be releasing the album February 14th for all you fans of art-pop, and if you’re in love like I am, they’ve also got a sweet shirt from the band’s heyday that you can pick up as well.  Start your day off right with this track.


Download: Tronics – They’re Talking About Us [MP3]

Twerps – s/t

Rating: ★★★★½

For those of you just meeting Twerps, you’d be surprised at the evolution of their sound.  When we first heard them via the folks at Chapter Music, they were a pretty basic lo-fi group, spinning tape loops and coming off a bit lackadaisical on songs like “Good Advice.” On their self-titled record, you’ll get a much more focused group bringing it all home.

“Dreamin” begins Twerps, giving you cascading guitar chords that cut through the careful jangle-pop, even tossing in some backing harmonies from female member Julia MacFarlane. It’s as tight as the band has sounded since they were introduced, and such songs only solidify their presence in our musical world. But, you’re still going to find that carefree spirit within this album.

On “Don’t Be Surprised” Marty Frawley just tosses his lyrics atop a much slower paced jingle, sort of like you’d expect Dan Treacy of Television Personalities to do, that is until mid-track where they just kick it off with this beautiful bit of noisy pop, only to return to their melodious bit of fun.  Twerps use a similar tactic on what is not only the record’s best song, but perhaps one of the top songs of the year, “Who Are You.”  It embodies everything magical in a song: catchy bit of guitar playing, a cool bit of vocal delivery and relatable lyrics.  When Frawley goes into his “who are you/to be actin the way that you do,” it’s all perfectly fitting, and it leads up to the playful “we’ll get drunk/we’ll get stoned/we’ll get high/we’ll get drunk” line that accompanies each chorus. Simply put, there aren’t many songs from this year better than this.

One of the best things about this entire record is that Twerps simply keep you interested, going places you can easily see, but didn’t necessarily expect from the group.  “Jam Song” sort of fills the middle of the record with a rambling bit of ballroom stomp, always keeping their groove.  Or, you could skip a few ahead and find yourself at the simple spoken-word track, “Bring Me Down,” which is joined by a polite little bit of guitar strumming.  There’s pretty much moments for every type of listener out there, be it jangling pop moments like “Dreamin,” or a more-subdued Wavves feel like the closer “Coast to Coast.”  It all fits in with the band’s aesthetic, and it never seems to grow stale.

Twerps have been around for some time now, but this self-titled record is going to be one of the dates that you’ll want to remember, as a band that puts it together this well is very rare.  They’ve got hooks, they’ve got creativity and they even have a bit of attitude (or essence), all making Twerps one hell of a ride.  Mark my word, everyone is going to be talking about this group and this record for some time to come.

Currently you can listen to the whole album HERE. Or jam the opener below.


Download: Twerps – Dreamin [MP3]

Television Personalities – A Memory is Better Than Nothing

Rating: ★★★½☆

Following the career of cult band Television Personalities you’ll see that the band never seemed to eclipse the work on their debut And Don’t the Kids Just Love It.  All that aside, the band has continuously put out clever off-kilter pop albums since their inception, and their newest, A Memory is Better Than Nothing, is just par for the course.  The thing is, par for the course for this group never creates run of the mill pop album; they’ve always seemed one step above, despite failing to receive critical acclaim.

Choosing to open with the title track “A Memory is Better Than Nothing” is a great choice.  Slowly beginning with mainstay Dan Treacy offering up his thin British voice just before bouncing into a warm jangling pop song, all this before the song waivers off into realms of quiet.  Reminiscing about memories does seem to prove that Television Personalities will always have something glorious to hold onto, no matter how far in the past.   Then you skip ahead to “She’s My Yoko,” where once again Dan waxes about his past, mostly choosing to hold on to a relationship of the past/present.  Offering this up as the lead single was probably a smart choice, as the mixture of varying layers of keys, minimal percussion and Treacy’s voice make it appealing to almost anyone.

Nostalgia seems to dominate this album, as the subject matter never seems to stray from lessons learned, precisely as it does in “Walk Towards the Night.”  Treacy is still talking about his relationship with an unnamed partner, and the gentle strumming provides an excess depth to his emotions.  But, just as you begin to feel comfortable with the feel of the record, “Funny He Nver Married” comes on through your stereo.  Treacy sings differently here, almost entirely in a way you’ve never heard from him before, his voice floating very lightly over cuts of guitar moving in and out of the song itself.  It’s simply a nice little break from the band’s bread and butter.

One of the greatest attributes of the group pops up on “People Think That We’re Strange.”  They use the most simplistic lyrics and coat them in feedback and steady drumming, but you find yourself drawn into the depth of the song, whether or not that depth actually exists at all.  Their ability to absorb you into the music has always been one of their gifts, and the same formulaic approach can be seen in their past works, as well as on A Memory is Better Than Nothing.  “You Don’t Want Me” uses this formula perfectly, with soft strumming accompanying Treacy as a more pronounced guitar line is layered over the entire song.  It’s nothing special, but listening to it definitely creates an overwhelming level of emotion.

Closing moments offer some interesting moments to boot, such as “The Good Anarchist,” which uses a lady for the lead. Featuring a female vocal is not something entirely new from the song, but it stands out on this collection of songs, as its the first time you find such a prominent female appearance.  It’s all bookended by slower moments than the rest of the album, and it does provide a moment to pause and reflect over what you’ve just listened to through these past thirteen tracks.  I’d say listening to Television Personalities is an acquired taste, but it’s one that I feel should be acquired by all.  If you’re looking for a band to adore, then take a listen to A Memory is Better Than Nothing, then go revisit all the stupendous work in the band’s catalog.


Download: Television Personalities – Funny He Never Married [MP3]

New Tunes from Television Personalities

Listening to this new track from Television Personalities has really made my week.  While I’ll admit that Dan Treacy’s vocals don’t sound as sharp as they once did, you can still see how they evoke the purest emotion.  Perhaps it is this reason that has made the group one of the best cult bands, often missing mass popularity by mere minutes.  But, just take one listen to this song, wait until the rest of the instrumentation really takes hold of the song, and tell me that you don’t like it.  Well, lucky for you (and me!) there will be many more songs coming out on the groups next album A Memory is Better Than Nothing, which is supposed to come out in June. Get into it; they could’ve been bigger than the Beatles.


Download: Television Personalities – Funny He Never Married [MP3]

New Television Personalities

There is something about British jangle-pop that really hits home with me.  Perhaps it’s the lo-fi quality or the romanticism, but at the forefront of it all has always been Television Personalities. They just recently released a new 7 ” titled The Good Anarchist on Elefant Records, which means we should hopefully have a new full length album coming our way sometime in March.  Check out the title track of said 7″!


Download: TV Personalities – The Good Anarchist [MP3]

1 2
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :