Twerps Twerps

The jammy, lo-fi jangle of '80s indie music is inescapable these days, so bands looking to mine that era's formidable variations on the same theme are quickly running out of places to turn. It's no surprise then that Aussie quartet Twerps turned to their neighbours in New Zealand's oft-forgotten kiwi rock scene for inspiration. The Melbourne group's debut full-length is a quietly confident affair that makes no bones about its influences. Singer Matt Frawley doesn't have much in the way of pipes, but the strain in his voice as he tries to hit notes just adds to the band's charm. The record's airy atmosphere, à la Galaxy 500, belies the driving force of most of these songs, a credit to the band's rhythm section, who prevent the guitars from meandering into oblivion. That tension is ultimately what set Twerps apart from many of their contemporaries and makes this debut so endearing. (Underwater Peoples)