In Review: TWERPS – UNDERLAY (CHAPTER MUSIC / MERGE RECORDS, 2014)

twerpscover

It’s as if Twerps decided to change their set of reference points for the next wave of songs. The band are adapting to new experiences and the pressure of being a successful band with levels of international notoriety. Musically, they are still as listenable as ever, but I there is a different sense of purpose throughout Underlay.

I always have time for Twerps. I might not be the biggest champion of their music nor are they on constant rotation in my ears but they are a band I respect and admire. I am a fan, but not as big a fan as I feel I should be.

Underlay is the latest release from the band after their self-titled debut LP and the ‘Work It Out / He’s In Stock’ single of 2012. I loved their debut; I still chuck it on when I am in the car because it sounds like music that suits travelling or at least the idea of travelling. Twerps, like their peers Dick Diver, helped boot up the renewed aesthetic of suburban malaise in Australian indie rock and communicated dissatisfaction with the lower middle-class condition.

‘Dreamin’ was the perfect song for escapism, it was the perfect tune for forgetting things on purpose and, well, dreaming for something more. Twerps always seemed like that band that was unhappy with their place and yearned for something more. They sounded like people that had no problem packing their bags and leaving in search of whatever was better. Underlay, on the first couple of listens, is travelling in a different gear. It’s still whimsical, it’s still Twerps, but it’s Twerps with a new set of experiences under their belt. Their dreaming has turned reality, so where are their heads at now? Where are they travelling to?

It’s as if Twerps decided to change their set of reference points for the next wave of songs. Whether they do this intentionally or not is irrelevant, the band are adapting to new experiences and the pressure of being a successful band with levels of international notoriety. They seem to be finding comfort zones elsewhere, which is nice to hear. Musically, they are still as listenable as ever, but I there is a different sense of purpose throughout Underlay.

‘Hypocrite’, ‘Wait Til You Smile’ and ‘Consecutive Seasons’ communicate a frustration, with time, with others, it’s hard to tell, but with new experiences come new problems. This is a collection of songs that showcase a transition. A new album will be out in 2015. I think without Underlay, the transition between the first LP and the second would be jarring. I think the next release will be a significant landmark for Twerps and Australian music in general.

CHAPTER MUSIC / MERGE RECORDS