Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Twerps - The Twerps EP

Sometimes it is fun to look back at a band's early steps, recognize the promise in the initial recordings and identify the elements of the creative development.  Of course, it is a worthwhile endeavor only if the band is good, and is possible only if the early material is available.  Melbourne's Chapter Music presents you with the perfect materials for this little musical exercise.

We are among the many writers focusing on indie pop that have sung the praises of Twerps, most recently covering their 2015 LP Range Anxiety (here) and their EP Underlay (here).  They also released a self-titled LP in 2011.  But the recorded story for Twerps begins with their 2009 EP The Twerps.  A generous nine song affair, it was released by Chapter as a 4-song 7" with an accompanying CD with all nine songs.  In the US the EP was released as a cassette by the Night People label.  The EP has been out of print for some time.

In the beginning, Twerps were Martin Frawley (guitar/vocals), Julia McFarlane (guitar), Rick Milovanovic (bass), and Patrick O'Neill (Milovanovic and O'Neill have left the band, and Alex Macfarlane and Angus Lord are in the current line-up).  Their musicianship was rudimentary, but their songwriting displayed promise, with charm, humor and introspection.  There is a lot of jangle and some '60s influences.  Comparing the EP to more recent Twerps' work, it seems to me that the progression is exactly what I would have wanted.  Some of the rough edges are trimmed, and the results are more consistent.  But happily, the idiosyncratic charm remains.  And historical comparisons aside, the EP is a very enjoyable record in its own right.

Chapter Music has reissued The Twerps on vinyl with an accompanying digital download.  The record includes the original nine songs and a rehearsal version of "Little Guys".  US fans can find limited copies of the vinyl via Merge Records, and UK fans can find the record via Proper Music.

Chapter Music page for The Twerps
Chapter Music Bandcamp page for reissue
Merge Records page for Twerps reissue
Proper Music page for Twerps reissue

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