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Underlay

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Album Review

Considering that Merge has been the U.S. home of both the Bats and the Clean at various points, it makes total sense that they would want to sign Twerps to their label. The Australian quartet is one of the many bands keeping the flame of the classic Flying Nun sound burning stronger than at almost any time in the past, recent or long ago. With their jagged guitar jangle, fragile to the point of breakable melodies, and overall scrappiness, they make music that is pure New Zealand — give or take some late-'80s indie rock here and there — and their first record for Merge, Underlay, is a short but impressive batch of songs that will let everyone know just why the label snapped them up. Rollicking Chills-y tracks like "Hypocrite," prettily introspective songs ("California Clay," "Raft"), and flat-out indie pop ("Conditional Report") and scruffy post-punk gems ("Heavy Hands") show that Twerps can do quite a few things within the narrow constraints of their sound, and do them exceedingly well. It's a little under-produced compared to their last album, 2012's Twerps, but that's not a bad thing since that record was just a bit over-produced. Whether hi-, mid-, or lo-fi, Twerps are a fine band, and this EP is a nice introduction to their work for the uninitiated and a welcome return for those fans who have been patiently waiting for more music.

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Biography

Formed: Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Australian lo-fi revivalists Twerps make noisy pop and '80s-influenced college rock that has an unmistakable Flying Nun/New Zealand feel. Formed in Melbourne and made up of guitarist/vocalists Martin Frawley and Julia McFarlane, bassist Rick Milovanovic, and drummer Patrick O'Neill, the band released the Good Advice single in 2009 and caught the ears of noise pop enthusiasts. In 2011, Twerps returned with a self-titled full-length album. The record met with critical acclaim and garnered them a wide...
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Underlay, Twerps
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