Tilbury: Exorcise

Immensely confident and capable, but a bit flat down the middle.
4.7.2012
Words by Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson
When I heard Tilbury was a supergroup of sorts (with members from Skakkamanage, Jeff Who? Moses Hightower, Valdimar and Hjaltalín) rumoured to be flaunting a Belle and Sebastian fixation, I imagined the outcome would be uninspired and pretentious dog shit. Indeed, the attention this band so quickly generated condemns it to high expectations.

What strikes me first is how amicably complete and fully-fledged the band are on their first release. Their sound and tone are fully realised and they are their own, although, yes, there are faint nods to Belle and Sebastian (that cinematic feel) and, to a larger extent, latter-day Mercury Rev.

I like how the dreamy pop meets the wistful, cold synthesizers and electronic beeps and pops, which gives the whole album an underlying dark and foreboding edge. The performance on ‘Exorcise’ is flawless and the production plays into the sparse and stripped down arrangements, thus all the record’s parts are out in the open for you explore. This makes for a rewarding headphone experience.

My gripe with the album is its flatness. It’s too controlled and disciplined. I need more rise, conflict and collisions. I started longing for some excitement, gusto or change of pace after the third number, the brilliant “Slow Motion Fighter.” Thankfully “Picture” comes to the rescue and we’re off to the races again, all the way to the end.

Although not without its faults, ‘Exorcise’ fascinates and deserves your attention.

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