Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Album Review: Iconic Seducer by Lost Twenties

Lost Twenties are a three piece band from Keighley who formed in 2016. Consisting of Jay Turner (guitar/vocals), Syllene McIntosh (bass) and Stephen Tomlinson (drums), the trio released their debut album in February. Titled Iconic Seducer, it was recorded by Kurt Wood and released on One Step Outside Records.

Iconic Seducer begins with the song Best Thing I Ever Did. This track sets a bit of a template of what to expect from Lost Twenties – Weezer-esque indie pop punk music. Starting out with a jangly guitar sound backed by some methodical bass and drum lines, the song quickly feels playful. Turner's vocals are clear, making the song super accessible. It's a mid-tempo track that almost feels as if Turner is being autobiographical during the song as he laments life at work. Up next is What Better Way?. This song has a slightly darker tone with the playful guitar lines gone. It was interesting to hear Lost Twenties switch from their more upbeat sound so early on. Despite the moody sound, the song is really catchy, particularly the chorus of "what better way, what better way, to take me as you find me, what better way, what better way, to creep up behind me." I Don't Know retains that moodiness but instantly picks the tempo back up. The song is about struggling with your identity and where you fit in to a social situation. Lost Twenties seem to slide towards a grungey style on this song which keeps it interesting.

The fourth song Outside is really lengthy (particularly for someone who is used to less than three minute punk songs) at five minutes and thirty-nine seconds long. This really allows for the band to show off their skills, particularly with the long musical interlude that finishes the song. It's a great guitar solo and I really loved the dirty recording style that is used, it gives the song a raw feel. This Current State begins with a marching drum beat giving things an air of importance before the jangly guitar returns. The track builds nicely throughout the first verse before things really threaten to explode during the chorus. It doesn't quite feel like it gets to its climax before calming back down. This happens a couple of times during the track and definitely leaves you wanting more. End Of The World is another over five minute long track that allows the band to do some experimental stuff with their sound. McIntosh's bass is at the forefront at the beginning of the song and plays a prominent roll throughout. The way that Turner delivers his vocals has you really wanting to head bang along, despite not really being that heavy of a song. This, for me, was one of the big highlights of the entire album. Much like Outside, the track is completed with a long instrumental section before we get another delightful headbanging finale. Despite not being of the highest of tempo, the song gives you plenty of energy.

The Main Event starts out with a juicy bass line before transitioning into an indie rock song that harks back to the early 2000s. For the most part the song's greatness lies in its simplicity, aside from that bass line and a whirly guitar part that finishes the song. The upbeat nature of the vocals give the track a poppier feel that put a smile on my face. One Day Away continues the pop vibes. For me, this is when Late Twenties are at their best. It's up-tempo and bouncy in a way that really gets you moving. Of course, it's the chorus that really stands out as Turner sings "we are shallow, live in shadow, one day away from all this." The track is about being stuck in your hometown and feeling unable to get out and chase your dreams. Things are slowed back down on the ninth song, Mutual Indifference. It's another five minute long song that plods along without really hitting any big heights. There are moments when you feel like it might be building to something bigger but unfortunately that never really happens. The song is about being in a relationship that you know is beginning to come to its conclusion but neither party wanting to make the first move to end things. There's a moody feeling on this grungy track.

The tenth song on Iconic Seducer is titled There Is No Danger. Picking things back up, this is a much faster song that has that infectious energy that I love so much. The build at the beginning of the track really pulled me in and once things really get going I'm yearning to have a sing-along. The song is about being scared to try things with Turner trying to convince the listener that everything will be okay and it's always worth a go. The penultimate song on the album in named This Archipelago. Those fun jangly guitars are back one more time, somehow giving the album a fresh feel despite having heard them earlier on the album. I guess that is the importance of an album's running order! I had to Google what exactly Archipelago means – it turns out it's the name for an extensive group of islands. The track is about looking for a new life away from where you currently reside, hoping to find somewhere better. The final song is Dinosaur. This song is a social commentary about the old fashioned thoughts and policies of the older generation being outdated and trying to get away from them. This is another of the big highlights from Iconic Seducer and is a song that I'm sure most people listening will really relate with. The drums and bass give the song a solid spine while the guitar is at its playful best, seemingly wandering off and playing its own melody on a few occasions. Perhaps this is a clever musical metaphor for the thought process in the song or perhaps I'm thinking too deeply about it. Either way I really enjoyed it. Dinosaur is a fitting way to finish the album.

This isn't the genre I'd normally listen to but I do think it's important to, on occasion, explore genres outside of your usual favourites. Sometimes you'll find some hidden gems – like Iconic Seducer.

Stream and download Iconic Seducer here:

Like Lost Twenties here:

This review was written by Colin Clark.

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