Tilly & the Wall
Oct 01, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue
Four years is a long time. After releasing three albums from 2004 to 2008, Tilly & the Wall took a bit of a break following 2008's O. During this time, three of the band members married and had children, while the other two moved to Los Angeles from the band's home base in Omaha, Nebraska. What has reemerged from this self-imposed hiatus is an album that is quite different from any of its predecessors, one that will no doubt surprise fans of the band's other albums.
Heavy Mood doesn't waste any time ushering in Tilly & the Wall's new sound. The opening track and first single, "Love Riot," begins with a scream and guitar groove, leading into aggressive, shouted vocals. The track is practically menacing in its intensity and violent vigor. The album's next track, "Heavy Mood," is a fast-paced, electronic-infused dance-floor jam that is very much an outlier in the Tilly & the Wall catalog. The jubilant "Baby Guns" recalls the band's past work in terms of its upbeat nature but features lines like "Let's blow this town and get high." Elsewhere, "I Believe in You" is a pretty but tearful reminiscence of days past, and "Shannie" features a more beguiling lyrical sentiment (choice lyric: "You and me would fuck some bitches up/like they'd ever dare to step to us"). Even the song "Hey Rainbow," which one would think from its title would yield some respite, is in fact a minor key lament with stark instrumentation.
Heavy Mood is a curious addition to Tilly & the Wall's body of work. At times the band's past glories are referenced, such as with the exuberant "Static Expression." But whereas the previous three Tilly & the Wall albums always featured a certain pop-wise innocence, despite whatever eccentricities they might also feature, Heavy Mood is mostly devoid of such. In this case, the album title is completely appropriate.
Author rating: 5/10
Average reader rating: 6/10