Four songs into this record, the similarities between the songs and vocal melodies are quite disconcerting. The music, although played magnificently tightly and mixed with warmth and understanding, drifts into typical indie-rock jangle with a flair for Nuevo-1960s pop ala the Rentals/mid-career Stereolab. The random bleeps, flanged sound bites, looped pulses, and psycho-clown-inspired keyboards bring me back to that scary place called the Causey Way. Then, at track six, “New Forms of Control,” the previous tracks melt away and solidify into a gorgeous keyboard-driven opus. From here on, for the most part, Tyro gives me that nostalgic smile that only bands like the Pixies and the VSS can.
The female vocals are lovely (reminding me of short-lived Massachusetts shoegazers Starlight Conspiracy), but would be more impressive if used a little more sparingly. A lot of you will like this. You will put it on mix tapes, play it at your next hipster party, and tell everyone in your “let’s-pretend-we-are-from-San-Diego” crew. Tyro are much better than that. This is a good diving board into the Olympic-sized pool of mature recordings. No victory lap, but a definite contender.
Mute Records, 140 W. 22nd Street, Suite 10A, New York, NY 10011; http://www.mutelibtech.com