Car Seat Headrest’s highly anticipated remake of their fan-favorite Twin Fantasy is a collision of the group’s past and present. The record was originally written and recorded when Will Toledo was the sole member of the band and the bulk of his fan base were confined to internet message boards like 4chan and Reddit. Now, over six years later, Car Seat Headrest have re-recorded and rereleased the record as Twin Fantasy (Face to Face).
To Car Seat Headrest fans, the songs are familiar but the production and execution is fresh. The first track, “My Boy”, starts mechanically; there’s a distant noise that sounds like static. Toledo’s voice takes the foreground and the track crescendos from its quiet beginning into the tight, guitar-driven sound Car Seat Headrest fans have grown to expect. “Beach Life-in-Death” manages to not be an early trial of the listener’s patience despite its 13:19 length. As does much of the album, the song tells an imperfect love story that is at least partially confounded on a shared sense of alienation. “We said we hated humans/We wanted to be humans,” Toledo sings in the track’s second section. “Sober to Death” and “High to Death” are complimentary tracks. The former chronicles the relationship’s submission to its darker tendencies and the latter finds Toledo wishing he to be sober while he copes with his failing relationship.
It seemed a peculiar decision of Car Seat Headrest to remake a previous album rather than continue to write new music, but the record speaks for itself. It was risky because fans had heard the songs, but it was safe because Car Seat Headrest knew the quality of what they had. Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) successfully retooled a lo-fi, basement record into a radio-ready album that’s bound to stand the test of time.