Twin Sister: In Heaven

Long Island based dream-pop quintet Twin Sister dropped their debut full-length In Heaven today. Hyped by blogs such as Pitchfork naming Twin Sister as #3 in ‘Best Hope for 2011’ we are quite interested what In Heaven finally sounds like. Previously released Gene Ciampi already sounded well, so we’ll see.

Daniel, first song on the record starts with chime, followed by beat and Andrea Castella’s voice, supported by dreamy keyboard-made soundscapes. Daniel catched my attention, next song Stop is well done too, with lots of effects and a nice melody, though not as good as Daniel so far as well as Bad Street did not impressed me at all, sure, there are great funky elements but the whole stuff is not as exciting as I expected In Heaven to be. Space Babe is a decent track with well done choruses and guitar-sound as well as I liked Kimmi In A Rice Field, where they turned into a more dreamy and chill-out direction again.

Second half of In Heaven starts with Luna’s Theme, which starts, as opening track Daniel did, with keyboard and vocals. Then turns into another dream-pop song enhanced with electronic elements. The change to the next song Spain is flowing, which is a more rocky track, which somehow reminds me of some old James Bond-soundtrack with some psych-rock as well. Successful track, in my opinion one of the most interesting on In Heaven. Next track Gene Ciampi was already released somewhere in August and I liked that track, had some summer-vibes and freaky guitar-sounds, as well psych-rock elements too. Saturday Sunday is again more into the dream-pop direction, but not a bad song as well, except the pronunciation of Sunday in this song, kinda strange. Last track is called Eastern Green, another highlight on the record, where they did what they can do best, producing beautiful keyboard-walls of different sounds, last minute was calm-down ambient, it concludes In Heaven fitting.

I am a bit dissapointed by In Heaven though I liked some songs such as Daniel, Space Babe, Gene Ciampi and especially Kimmi In A Rice Field. This record has many shapes, where they played various styles such as dream-pop, chillwave indications as well as psych-rock. I am honest the pace was too high and I liked the previous EPs much better, where they played a slower and more dreamier style. It is decent, they still have to work on their sound.

  • 7.2/10

Big Troubles: Romantic Comedy

Big Troubles from Ridgewood, New Jersey, formed somewhere in 2009/10 after being friends since high-school and been in several bands together, currently signed to Slumberland Records brought out their second full-length Romantic Comedy after a number of 7” and EPs. They are currently touring with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Young Prisms and Real Estate and you can locate their sound somewhere in this edge. It’s a style of lo-fi dream pop with lyrical themes such as romance, as the title of the record says, loss of love and things like that. But enough informations, I’ll give it a spin.

Romantic Comedy starts with a lovely opener called She Smiles For Pictures. I like the guitar melody and the keyboard effects and already took the voices from Alex Craig and Ian Drennan to my heart. Misery let me even think of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart again which is definitely not a bad thing because I loved Belong and can’t get enough of stuff in the same musical style that want to bring the Billy Corgan-feeling back to life. Make It Worse is in the same shoegazy style and I love it, as well as Sad Girls. You can call it a rip-off of something and you could be right with that argument but I simply like it so why should I criticise it. And about vocal lines like ‘Love is in the air, but I don’t care, ’cause I don’t want to love anymore’ you just can smile about it and don’t judge them. You’ll Be Laughing is a mid-tempo style with a remarkable background guitar-line to break-up the first half of Romantic Comedy.

Second half starts with one of my favourites of this record called Minor Keys and for the first time played a more straight-forward style of Shoegaze in the third minute that lets me think of Loveless. It is followed by Softer Than Science which is as the title says again calm and peaceful but still likeable, though one of the unspectacular songs on Romantic Comedy. Time Bomb, again as the title says more noisy and experimental. Succesfull, another highlight on this record in my opinion. We have already arrived at the last two track, Engine and Never Mine. The first of the two is some relaxing mid-tempo dream pop where the roots are clearly somewhere Pavement- or Dinosaur Jr.-like with the pinch of originality. Never Mine, like the most on Romantic Comedy is a nicely done closure, stroke the guitar for the last time, aspirate into the mic for the last time and leave the listener in a pleased and entire mood.

I really liked Romantic Comedy and there were almost no bad songs on this. I would really like to see them blowing up in the upcoming weeks and want to recommend it to a fan of every artist I mentioned in this review, you can’t do something wrong by listening to Romantic Comedy. So what are you waiting for, do it!

  • 8.3/10

Tammar: Visits

If you want to find out who or what Tammar really is, you won’t find much, just some reviews on Pitchfork and other blogs. Whatever it is real, it’s out on the market and the cover artwork looks good so anyway I’ll listen through. Seven songs, pretty long running times, Tammar, Visits.

Album starts with Heavy Tonight, a strange but catchy experimental rock opener with nice guitars and keyboards but turned out to be too monotone though for its nearly seven minutes. Next song is called Summer Fun and like these song-names they usually sound like summer. Not bad song and with four minutes not too long either, good riffs, good post-punkish chorus, succesfull highlight. The Last Line has also some nice ideas in it and it kinda reminds me of U2 somehow but they could have wanted to listen like some 80’s post-punk, quite well done. Deep Witness, next looong song with about seven minutes starts well with a groovy guitarline and echoed vocals, it’s a nice track too but you also would have seen the whole thing after five minutes.

Next opus Arrows Underwater is nearly nine minutes long, excited what this turns out like. It starts ambient, guitars tune in after a minute. So the whole thing has nice melodies in it but they just made all the songs a bit too long which makes this album very long-winded which tempts the listener to skip. Anyway after five minutes Arrows Underwater turns out quite enjoyable with a nice building-up. Yung Jun is not too long finally, good riffs that won’t get boring until the song ends. Frost Meter, already the last song on Visits is peaceful and chill, ending in a orgasmic spiral of kind and beautiful soundscape.

The album is truly not bad but as I already said before the songs are a bit too long to keep the whole thing really interesting. There were nice ideas and the instrumental work vocals and stuff is well done but I would have prefered ten shorter songs than these seven. Try to change it and something’s going to happen with this band.

  • 6.8/10

Mikal Cronin: s/t

Hailing from Laguna Beach, California surf and rock’n’roll fanatist Mikal Cronin takes you back to the 90’s with his refreshing mix of noise and garage with the typical surf-vibe of the Californian music scene. He already released the 7” Gone in 2010. Guest appearances from Ty Segall, with whom he collaborated already in 2009 releasing Reverse Shark Attack, John Dwyer and Mootheart makes the whole thing even more interesting and so his solo-debut was issued by Trouble In Mind records and dropped the market yesterday.

The album starts furious with Is It Alright, a nice surf-rock opener with many interestin tempo changes and a freaking awesome flute at the end that let me think about Audience or Jethro Tull. Apathy has positive borrowings of Oasis or something in that direction though Oasis wasn’t really interesting for me at all and they also can’t hit me with Beady Eye too, but back again to Mikal Cronin. Apathy is again full of noise and interesting things, heard it the third time through and I always found something new in his songs. On Green And Blue the vocals are absorbed behind a noisy guitar wall with some catchy gypsy minor, also a very intersting track. Get Along is some typical surf-rock track with that Californian brand mark I already mentioned before. Next song title Slow Down is very fitting, it’s an almost ambient keyboard track with relaxing Mikal Conin vox, nice discharger to get ready for the second half.

Gone and Situation are again surfy garage-rock tracks that bring back last feelings for warm temperatures and the beach. Again And Again repeates this scheme, though I liked this track much better than the previous few, again some tempo changes and interesting things to celebrate on this track, highlight. Hold On Me is a slower track in the style of Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. or Yuck, to name a newer example. And with The Way Thing Go we are already at the last track, seemed to be shorter which is a good thing. The last track is calm but powerful and effective and in my opinion one of the best on the album that turned into a faster direction after about three minutes and showed the garage and even punk influences for the last time. Another good idea was getting off-beat to the end to make it even more chaotic and let it all end into blank noise. Successfull!

This record came out of nothing but was so nice and refreshing in my opinion. Mentioned it already, it is on repeat and most of the songs are already stuck in my head and not seem to let me loose. I expected nothing else though because I already loved the Ty Segall collab. Check him out also if you want more of this style of music. I am excited to hear more of Mikal Cronin in the future and hope this wasn’t his last solo record. Hot new release!

  • 8.3/10

Video: Arctic Monkeys ‘Suck It And See’

Below you can watch the new Arctic Monkeys video for Suck It And See, which will be released on October 31 as a single with ‘Evil Twin’ as the b-side.


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