Twerps: Range anxiety (Merge, 2015)

Tomando de aquí y de allí, del C86, del Kiwi-Rock, de la inspiración del Pop de los 80 y bandas como The Go Betweens, Rem, The Pastels o The Magnetic Fields, la banda aussie Twerps han publicado su segundo álbum: Range anxiety, un precioso disco de Jangle-Pop en el que la sensibilidad de los australianos está presente en cada corte.

“That neither Frawley nor co-vocalist Julia Macfarlane have their shit together is hardly to their detriment. So there’s a distinct comic element during “Back to You” when Frawley expresses envy at someone out there sipping iced tea and living free. At no point does Frawley seem bothered by any pressing obligation, but his foil does not share the constant incapacitation as a result of the girl who keeps walking out of his life. “It all keeps coming back to you,” Frawley sings on a chorus that could pass for the main sentiment on over half of Range Anxiety and one that finds a comfort in the predictability of despair—it’s a toast of the one beer that becomes the “one too many.”
Still, Range Anxiety goes by in an instant, makes minimal demands, and is remarkably enjoyable for its simple pleasures. It may not have the heft to move you, but it’s gentle and never unwelcome. Classic jangle-rock hooks lodge in your head without taking up much space. The lyrics are simple expressions of feelings and there is a song called “Simple Feelings”. The bulk of the record consists of post-breakup laments delivered with an insouciance that can be confused with cheer; they could just as easily find themselves on a mix prepared for a future crush.
It all comes so naturally to Twerps that Range Anxiety could be considered effortless as a pejorative, which is why “I Don’t Mind” is not only their best song to date, but also their most important. As the first proper track on Range Anxiety and one of two tracks over five minutes, it towers over the proceedings. It’s a committed and extroverted song about not caring about the outside world, one that evokes big bands like the Velvet Underground andU2, a song that simmers rather than pops and fizzes, that plays Frawley and Macfarlane’s voices for contrast when they otherwise conspire to share the same shrugging views on social demands.
Range Anxiety could use more of the emotional ballast provided by “I Don’t Mind”, even if it doesn’t necessarily need it. Some will hear the album as perfectly breezy, others might consider it featherweight. But this isn’t entirely the fault of Twerps—they just don’t have much of a desire to present their music as autobiography. Hook-for-hook and chime-for-chime, it matches up with the most recent work of Real Estate and Mac DeMarco, 2014’s kings of college quad indie. But while Atlas and Salad Days made a point to stress their reckoning with parenthood, aging, the demands of art and other adult topics, Twerps all but admit Range Anxiety was inspired by a rock’n’roll, on-the-dole lifestyle that leaves vast gaps for drinking and alone time. Which is what a lot of people grappling with family and work pine for anyway, and the predictability and reliability of Range Anxiety just means it’s always there when you need it” (Pitchfork)

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