03 Dec 2022 - Thorsten
Shoegaze, Brit-Pop, Indie-Rock | Crazysane Records | Release date: 07 Oct 2022 | Favorite song: We Want our Heaven
This record seems to have fallen through a wormhole out of time – straight from the 90s ear of Cool Britannia and to the USA today. It merges all the things that were and are still good about the 90s into a blend that yet doesn’t feel outdated but as fresh as the first cup of coffee in the morning. Rejuvenating and inciting.
There were many things about the British rock scene of the 90s that one can still enjoy. The intelligent lad-idea of Blur. The elegant brutish-ness of Oasis. The seemingly uncontrolled rage of My Bloody Valentine. The feisty noise of Primal Scream. The mantra-esque psychedelia of Kula Shaker. A lot of that can also be heard on Twin Drugs latest release In Now Less Than Ever:
There are moments when one can hear a bit of blurry, mushy overlapping of sounds that Kula Shaker gave us (especially on their second album Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts), for example in the song arrangement of the second track ”We Want Our Heaven”, especially the beginning is worth a closer listen.
After the slightly ”Wild Boy-ish” drum pattern at the beginning of the third track ”World Fell Off” the track continues on that magnificent beat but adds a lot of sheer elegance – even though I do not know why Mairin Monroe’s vocals on this and on ”Rule 110” sometimes remind me somewhat of Chumbawamba’s Lou Watts?!
Something totally different is the intro to ”Fanfare” because it is a sample of some seemingly Asian flute hanging in the air before the glitches and blops start dominating the short interlude. Nevertheless, one can notice how well written the songs are and how much they are dangling between My Bloody Valentine and, to give a non-UK-reference, A Place To Bury Strangers, because it becomes clearer that Twin Drugs live must be quite something, probably pretty loud, pretty harsh and pretty rowdy. Wonderful!
Interesting is also the contrast between the hushed vocals, hidden far back in the mix, behind a sheer towering wall of sound that is as thick as I have not heard it in a long time. Nonetheless, one must congratulate the band on their recording and mixing skills as they did that DIY as well back in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia. By the way, if a band thanks one of our most beloved American Post-Rock bands Shy, Low then we must give that new band a listen. In this case, yes, very convinced. ”Dust Worship” is a highly programmatic title in a way, because that track alone will shake a lot of dust from shelves and floors so that the audience can dance among the flakes that the guys “riffed off”. Here some kind of Blur-drive (remember they were more than some art-guys without a gas pedal!) is mixed with a lot of Primal Scream-distortion and yes, it works. The steady beat is stoic enough not to be disturbed by anything, let alone too many riffs, as if there could ever be too many! One cannot but nod his head in approval.
So, if you are looking for real suitors to the throne vacated by My Bloody Valentine or A Place to Bury Strangers, with a good ear for structures and production. If you like your Noise-Rock a bit more on the extravagant side of town where some of the students go and drink tea in a workers’ pub smelling of strength and beer – then In Now Less Than Ever MUST be your go-to-record of 2022! Enjoy, lads!