Fat Possum Records, 2012


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


The sound of 2:54 is not unique; this band is but an addition to the long list of shoegazer-inspired acts of today. The band’s music has an unmistakable throwback sound, which definitely puts it amongst the ranks of classic acts of the shoegazer era. The group—primarily comprised of sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow—however has a less-layered and more hard-edged approach to its music style, with a comparatively stripped-down sound in terms of the heavy guitar and vocal effects that characterize this genre. However, Colette’s swooning vocals still add the haunting dreaminess that is so unmistakably shoegazer. Also, at the same time, her voice has the power and clarity that is quite often missing—or is totally lost—in the reverb effects that this genre is known for.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

One of the distinctive elements of 2:54’s music is the tight bass notes, which shape the outer face of the music as much as the guitars. The bass gives a sort of gothic edge to the music, and when considered with the visceral somberness in the band’s tunes, lends an element of Interpol-esque funereal darkness to the songs, which in turn provides a gritty edge to the album, despite the prettiness of its music.

With Rob Ellis as the album’s producer and Alan Moulder as its mixer, 2:54 has surprisingly big names in indie rock shaping its sound, for a debut effort by an obscure band. And this is a superbly produced record too; as the production has taken a pretty unadorned and straightforward rock album and has made it sound pretty polished, without overtly seeming like it. The great songs of the album—“Revolving,” “You’re Early,” “A Salute,” and “Watcher”—are absolutely out of this world. The rest of the album is pretty solid too. For all that, the album is not without a few lackluster numbers—“Sugar,” “Circuitry,” and “Easy Undercover”—to dull it up a bit. In this wave of shoegazer resurgent bands, there is a lot of noise, but 2:54 for sure is the real deal.

Rating: A-

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