Published May 05, 2015On second LP Alligator Years, soft surf-y licks roll up on the beach of Twinsmith's lyrics of lost hope and longing. Throughout the album, the syncopated, hi-hat-laced beat goes on, keeping an upbeat tone; the resulting feeling is much like bouncing on a trampoline while gossiping about high school romance and disappointments.
Midway through Alligator Years, the gears surprisingly shift from pop-driven tunes to a new wave, drum-machine-powered sound. Jordan Smith's vocals and the pop essence of the album may remind some of Nada Surf or even Vampire Weekend, and while the album is full of experiments, many of the tracks have a familiar sound, which is both a strength and weakness, as the sleeker production of Alligator Years cleans up a little much from their grittier early work. Still, there are highlights, too: closer "Carry On" is a ballad that takes us on a journey through late '90s pop rock. (Saddle Creek)