Just the other day I was saying, “you know what there isn’t enough of in modern music? Inoffensive, vaguely charming indie rock bands who play electric guitars like they’re folk rockers and play with twee boy-girl harmonies in a laid-back, cabin-in-the-woods sort of way”. Then I came down.
It’s not like Twerps are actively offensive; if they tried a little more, they might be, but the biggest problem is that they just don’t try hard enough to be anything. Three chords, some harmonies, and the blandest lyrics this side of Mumford and Sons. This is just the Feelies, watered down through the ages and rendered toothless, sort of like how Melvins got diluted into Theory of a Deadman at one point. It’s all very fresh-faced and earnest, like they had a residency in Stars Hollow and were playing the bandshell every night. Look for them to pick up banjos and make the transition to modern rock format FM radio soon.
On their second album, the English pop band continues to be rather difficult to pin down. They have wistful, twee melodies like genre legends Camera Obscura, but their sound is much more robust than anything that outfit ever released. They have elements of shoegaze and Eighties alt-rock, but they’re hardly the engine-rush, Hughesian soundtracking band that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart perfected. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, like it always does: they aren’t prep-school-wistful, they aren’t a twee version of the Smashing Pumpkins, but they do okay. The C-86/Jesus And Mary Chain vibe some of the tracks hold helps to propel it along, but it gets mired down about a third of the way through and everything sort of sounds similar once you get to the end. Their 2011 self-titled debut held a lot of promise but Waiting For Something To Happen doesn’t really deliver, unless “promise” is supposed to lead to “more of the same”. The album’s title accurately describes the act of listening to it; you keep waiting for something to move you to the next level but nothing ever does. Decent enough, but rapidly approaching the vanishing point of “why bother?”