Twinstar‘s mission statement seems to be to “bridge the gap between the hazy days of the Wrecking Crew and cinematic 60s pop, and a current post-punk revival.” That’s quite a mouthful, and with their newest album, The Sound of Leaving, I question whether they can actually handle that. Understand, Twinstar, while maybe not the most well known band, has several album under their belt. You’d hope their latest album would be a culmination of Twinstar’s musical experiences, but it’s not. And it’s not the album is bad, it’s just that it isn’t good.
The Sound of Leaving is relatively calm. Twinstar uses careful instrumentation to create melodies that sound on par with post-rock legends like Mogwai or Godspeed! You Black Emperor. The vocals come in soft, and almost work as their own instrument, blending perfectly and creating a miniature orchestra. But unfortunately, that’s as far as the good goes for this one. It could be said that Twinstar constructed this album like a skyscraper. It’s structurally sound, it’s without any flaw that could result in catastrophe, but it’s not very appealing after the first thirty seconds of saying, “Wow, look at that.”
Let’s be up front about this, The Sound of Leaving is awfully boring. There are no awe inspiring moments –the entire album feels apathetic and anti-climatic. I can recall one particular track getting my hopes up: “Nowhere.” I’d say the song has some heavy post-rock influence. The instrumental tracks seem to constantly add layers, creating intricacies –building like a wave. I couldn’t wait to hear what would happen. And when that big moment did finally come? I sighed and lost a little faith in Twinstar. There was no grand crescendo, the changes in melody and rhythm were so subtle it felt like nothing happened. There was no climax, the wave never broke, and it was almost shocking how unshocking it sounded. Sadly, this had become the theme of The Sound of Leaving.
To be fair, most songs don’t need some sort of crazy guitar solo –in fact, that would make things a bit cheesy. Most songs don’t need some sort of super complex instrumental (or lyrical) reflection of the musician’s creative genius. But every album needs a little something, and The Sound of Leaving just seems to constantly fall short. Even worse, these songs seem to drag on forever. It’s a sleeper album for sure.
On the brightside, The Sound of Leaving isn’t a complete disaster. It’s beautifully composed, and well made; but it’s just not very memorable. Comparing Twinstar from several years ago, to Twinstar today, I wonder what happened. Their first recordings seem a bit more promising. The band had more energy, and grabbed your attention. It just seems like something went horribly wrong with The Sound of Leaving. Twinstar is a fine band, but with their latest album, they’re not producing any masterpieces by any means.
MP3: Twinstar “Nowhere”