20 Minute Loop
Decline Of Day
Billed by the press as a band similar in scope to X or The Pixies, and playing a style of music termed “freakpop,” there is little in the sound of 20 Minute Loop to hearken back to those bands. Barring a superficial similarity in that both have male and female lead singers who alternate on vocals, the one band that most remind me of 20 Minute Loop is Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Both bands have an off kilter and skewed outlook, both create unique visions of the world, and both create melodies that do not fit nicely into a preconceived idea of a pop song. This is their strengths and in some cases their weaknesses.
At its best, Decline Of Day indicates what a clever band can sound like when they follow their muse and write songs they want to. There is no evidence of lack of creativity on this release, and the interplay between the singers is remarkable. In fact, it is a testament to their skill as musicians that they can create such catchy tunes and melodies when their subject matter is frequently dark. A good example is the track “All Manner,” a song that on a superficial listen sounds like one of those slow ballads the youngsters listen to. On a closer listen, one realizes the narrator is singing her goodbye as she and her lover are buried alive by snow: “I must preserve you for the rest of time/Anyone who finds us later in the Spring thaw•”
At other times, this unique sensibility may be a bit hard to swallow. Adjusting to the oblique pop sensibility may take some time for those accustomed to the earnest singer-songwriter variety or the brooding muses of nu-metal. Yet, an adventurous listener may find something intriguing here that rewards them.