Melbourne band Twerps have been building a strong following since they first arrived on the scene in 2008. Their second album continues the ascent and although they are loyal to the boutique Chapter Music in Australia, they are the first Aussie band to be welcomed onto indie juggernaut, Merge Records, in the US.
Twerps stick to the tried and tested formula of mining the fey pop sounds of the late ’80s on Range Anxiety. The band’s point of difference is that they do it better than most. The laconic vocal and slow build of the irrepressible ear-worm, I Don’t Mind, places Martin Frawley in the same territory as pop savant, Stephen Pastel.
The lo-fi jangle of New Moves and Back To You are more upbeat with more hooks than a fairytale pirate. Julia MacFarlane may be content with playing second fiddle to Frawley, but the guitarist offers the brightest moment on Range Anxiety with the ramshackle Stranger which is fleshed out with chaotic drum fills and a chorus that won’t let go.
Twerps’ appeal is often in their simplicity with chords kept to a minimum and melodies immediate. Range Anxiety doesn’t challenge this formula and is the perfect party guest.