Tilly and the Wall: Heavy Mood – album review

Tilly and the Wall – Heavy Mood (Team Love)
Due out November 5th.

Next week Nebraskan Indie band Tilly and the Wall will be releasing their latest album, called Heavy Mood. Chris Hearn’s been listening to it for us & fills you in on the details below.

How could I have not heard of this band before? I mean, they have been on Sesame Street! That impresses the heck out of me. You know you’ve gotten somewhere when you end up on Sesame Street. Are these folks bigger than I realize or something?

So, about this new album: Hmmmm. Ya, pretty good is my first reaction, I guess. Sound wishy-washy? Ya. That’s kind of how I feel about this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent album. But it doesn’t blow me away. It’s not bad…in fact it’s good. But amazing? No. Maybe I was expecting too much, or expecting something that it turned out not to be. I thought this would be a bit freer sounding, a bit rawer, a bit punkier? It just sounds restricted, as though they were thinking way too much about how they wanted it to sound instead of just playing and the sound growing naturally. It’s as though it has been too meticulously coddled.

Or, maybe it’s just me being sexist; I just wanted them to be Bikini Kill because of the high number of women in the band. There are definitely some nods to the whole Riotgrrrl movement here, but it’s a far more diverse album than that, borrowing from a number of styles, genres and eras. Maybe too many? Maybe this is the issue. There is a touch of 50’s style Shirelles (“All Kinds of Guns”), 80’s Cyndi Lauper (“I Believe In You”) & 90’s The Breeders (“Youth”) to name a few things I hear in here.

But, again, I stress, it isn’t a bad album. My favourite song is “Heavy Mood”, the title track, a dance-rock song that sounds the freest and most fun in the collection. They do a good job tackling this genre, or sub-genre, or sub-sub-genre or whatever it may be. If I danced, I would probably dance to this because it’s a really good dance-rock song! But I don’t dance. Interestingly enough, it sounds like nothing else on the album. Why? “Defenders” appears to be the first single, and it was a good choice being what I feel is the strongest song (that isn’t “Heavy Mood”) on the album. I like the video. I like the message. It definitely has an 80’s era Jane Siberry or Stevie Nicks quality to the song, but that’s okay by me. It sounds good and is visually interesting, as they do seem to always be with their bright clothes, wacky hair and face paint. Maybe that’s it? They look far freer and crazier than they sounds sometimes. Maybe that’s what got me to expect something slightly different?

So, there you have it: “Heavy Mood”, the new album by Tilly and the Wall. I hope I haven’t come across too negative on this album, because it really is pretty good. It isn’t Bikini Kill, so get that out of your sexist brain right now! It’s Tilly and the Wall. Got it? Good.

You can find out more about the band on their Tumblr page here. They are also on Facebook here. And of course if you missed the link above make sure you check them out on Sesame Street! So cool.

All words by Chris Hearn. You can read more from Chris on LTW here.

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Deep in the heart of Canada, on the north shore of frigid Lake Superior, is a town called Thunder Bay. That\'s where I am from. That\'s where I started to write. And that is where I started to discover music. Now, I\'m a married man with two boys. I still love music. I still go to shows. And I still visit Thunder Bay, even though I haven\'t lived there for many years. What will you find on my iPod? You\'ll find lot of Americana, classic country, heavy stuff, punk and plenty of “guilty pleasures”.


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