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Twee-sy tiger! Omaha act mix up their newest record with more attitude but still stay true to their original style.

Rating: 8 / 10

Francis Jones, 17 Nov 2008

You could have been forgiven for dismissing Tilly And The Wall as something of an indie novelty. This, after all, was the band whose great distinction was in using a tap-dancer rather than a drummer. Their first two albums provided songs that were sweet but as insubstantial as candyfloss. The word ‘twee’ was often bandied about in their honour. However, for their latest outing, the silent scream-titled O, the five-piece have instilled greater variety, some punk spirit and generally decided to flex some attitude. It suits them well.

On ‘Pot Kettle Black’ the tap-dancing suddenly doesn’t seem so Lionel Blair cutesy. Recorded in a school gym with the assistance of a 10 strong “stomp group”, it instead sounds ominous, like the approach of a jackbooted army. The riff is sleazy, Kianna Alarid spitting the words like insults. ‘Too Excited’ matches it in the aggro stakes; a song built around a gargantuan guitar hook, tap-dancing solo (really) and booming shout-along chorus. Elsewhere, the hot-stepping Jamie Pressnall brings a touch of flamenco style to ‘Cacophony’ whilst ‘Falling Without Knowing’ evokes that supremely fashionable ‘80s pop vibe.

However, whilst the band are keen to flaunt their new moves, long time fans can rest assured that the attributes that first attracted them to TATW – kaleidsoscopic choruses, glittering harmonies and that sense of wide-eyed wonder – remain intact, especially so on the likes of ‘Tall Tall Grass’ and ‘Poor Man’s Ice Cream’. All told, O represents an exhilarating and progressive, ahem, step in the group’s development.

Rating: 8 / 10
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