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Car Seat Headrest // Twin Fantasy [Album Review]


Album: Twin Fantasy

Band: Car Seat Headrest

Area: Seattle

Date Of Release: 16/02/2018

Genre: Indie Rock

Reviewer: Andrew Brassington

Record Label: Matador Records

For Fans Of: Hiding depression after a breakup, Parquet Courts, Wavves, Sandy Alex G

Next Gig: Touring Aus at the end of February + Sydney City Limits Festival

“I never came out to my friends. We were all on Skype, and I laughed and changed the subject”

Car Seat Headrest released "Twin Fantasy" today, It opens with a distant hum of a rotting tape deck, amplified by electrical currents weaving its way in and out of your speakers, making way for some soft drum flares and doo wop bass. Will Toledo’s distinctly lofi American voice chimes in over the top, adding to the roomy texture and by the time the first verse finishes we’re greeted with some sweet, sweet guitars. This track doesn’t feel like the opener to an album, it feels like that final scene in a movie, as the credits begin to roll and the characters have fulfilled their destiny. Its cinematic, its big when it wants to be (around the two minute mark ), and quiet when it doesn’t.

Having not been overly familiar with 2011’s Twin Fantasy, the original album that this is a re-recording of, I’m going in blind without having any expectations of what the songs will and won’t be, which I think is healthy by coming to it with an open mind. Car Seat Headrest definitely has a very specific sound, but it’s not such a niche that it can’t find its fans outside of that.

The record continues with the 13 minute epic ‘Beach Life In Death’, a risky statement so early on in the record, but surprisingly it just works, I really can’t complain. This track just takes you on a sobbing garage rock journey within the first five minutes alone, that sticking around for the next eight doesn’t seem like such a chore. It feels like a whole album unto itself.

Like much of Toledo’s work, ‘Beach Life In Death’ doesn’t really make heaps of sense, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong and it’s a pleasure to listen to.

From the dystopian 12 string jangle of ‘Sober To Death’ to the LCD Soundsystem style runaway synths on ‘Nervous Young Inhumans’ the thing that stands out the most apart from the brilliant production is the depth of lyricism. Having been written when Will was barely out of high school, I’m kind of glad that he can look back on such beautiful and inventive phrases and be proud of them. Will’s monologue at the end of ‘Nervous Young Inhumans’ is one of the most beautiful moments on the record. It doesn’t feel forced, it doesn’t lack anything. It’s delivered oh so perfectly. Toledo has really seemed to master his vocal art.

"Twin Fantasy" is out Friday February 16th and Car Seat Headrest are hitting our shores later in the month.

Vocals: 9/10

Guitars: 8/10

Bass: 7/10

Drums: 8/10

Lyrics: 5/5

Would You Go And See Them 5/5 (if they were doing City Limits sideshows in Sydney I’d be there in a heartbeat)

Mixing: 7/10

Production: 18/20

Structure: 12/20

Overall: 79/100

Personal Enjoyment: 7/10

#ParquetCourts #Waaves #SandyAlexG

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