Twin Falls - The Seasoned Times
Tiffany Daniels 16/04/2010
Twin Falls operate on a revolving cast roster that is led by frontman and previous Exercise 1 co-owner Luke Stidson. Their debut EP, We Will Begin to Flicker, was awarded top marks by this e-zine, and won the promising conclusion, “this…deserves to be essential listening, whether in sun, rain or snow, it's a joy to behold and perfect to snuggle up to, alone or with someone special”. While the music provided on follow up EP The Seasoned Times suggests GIITV's original perception is somewhat justified, I have to admit that overall I'm lagging in enthusiasm.
There's nothing wrong with their second effort, but essentially that's the problem. It lacks in bravery and is entirely inoffensive, making it uninspiring in a folk scene that, since We Will Begin to Flicker, has flourished and become overpopulated with talent far more brash and exhilarating.
The record kicks off with the promising “(A Song For) June”, a luscious orchestral piece, it floats along a meandering stream with all the gusto of a paper ship - like I said, inoffensive. The title of the following track, “Whiskey and Cigarettes”, promises a near Johnny Cash grisly ballad of desperation and failure, but rather than deliver what is implied, Stidson's vocals fly sky-high and perch on a tree top to sing a calming lullaby. “Home” is slightly more rousing; its first verse exercises tribal percussion and growled lyrics, but before you can say “oh my God they might have something here”, there are those same vocals, tearing us back down to normality with a nonplussed shrug. Before you know it, what I assumed to be The Seasoned Times' most promising song is over, to make way for “Ten Invitations", a sweet ode to love going sour.
Not to be so negative, there's clearly talent a-foot here. Highlight “How I Lost My Somerset Accent” is a darling, with a simple poetic outlook similar to Hefner, and a score that echoes the skills of Elliott Smith. It's a shame that this wicked concentration didn't rub off on in the song's neighbours.
Unfortunately, I can't rid my head of an unpromising comparison to Keane. That's completely unhelpful if you dislike Keane - there's no way anyone could dislike Twin Falls - but the radio-friendly basic melody is there and it ain't going away. I feel mean, like the class bully picking on the kid who does your homework for free. Sorry guys, but as hard as I try I can't lie.