The majority of reviews I have read recently have mentioned one band that is storming, well basically, the world: Modern Baseball. It’s hard not to bring them up, as they are a breath of fresh air to today’s music industry. Is it then, harsh, when reviewing another band, to cite the similarities? Personally, I would say no, as they are a band people should look up to and praise for getting other similar sounding bands noticed. When you’re in a band and someone, be it another band member or a review, compares you to another band, it is nothing but praise, usually.
Tawny Peaks do have comparisons to Modern Baseball, but there are also shades of The Postal Service, Geographer (remember them?) and even Ben Folds! Don’t get me wrong, Tawny Peaks have hints of the above, but have put together a very tight album, and still made it their own.
The nine-track album kicks off with ‘Go Ask Arthur’ which gives an indication of what to expect for this record: melodic guitars entwine and embrace the two-part vocals, whilst the bass is not overpowering, but obvious. This is all kept together by the simple yet constructive drumming.
The keyword here is ‘simple’. It is all kept relatively simple, and that’s what I like about this band. A lot of bands try their hardest to make over complicated riffs, whilst the simple things get left behind and forgotten about. The duets are pretty and soft, but crucially they work. I have listened to albums where female and male vocals have combined and have failed miserably, Tawny Peaks however, do it superbly.
Songs such as ‘Wasting Space’, ‘Bending Time’ and ‘A Broken Spoke’ are a lot more upbeat and have a bigger sound to them. The title track ‘In Silver River’ starts with a magnificent guitar riff, met by the once again beautiful and harmonising vocals, which are shortly united with the bass and drums. This is what the band do so well. The structure of each song is put together brilliantly. There are drum fills where you wouldn’t expect them, and there are duets that are placed with beautiful accuracy and together, it all works. And it doesn’t just “work”, it works really well. The whole togetherness of the album is really quite something. And whilst I will admit I was not overly keen the first time I listened to it, In Silver River really grew on me the second and third time, and I will certainly be listening to the album again.
If Tawny Peaks disappoint anywhere, it’s the lack of solo female vocals. There is a snippet on the final track, ‘Confessor’s Kingdom’, but if I’m honest, I would have liked more, it is a waste of a beautiful talent. The guitars on ‘Confessor’s Kingdom’ are the most complex sounding of the record, and as the track finishes, it leaves you short and wanting more.
– Si Watten