Twerps

South by Southwest Aftershots

Twerps

Beale Street Tavern, March 15

Performing for a small audience in the shadow of an Elvis statue on a stage not much larger than a king-size bed, Melbourne, Australia-based foursome Twerps closed out Thursday night with a short set of altogether affable Flying Nun-style indie-pop that made you feel like you were among friends. Everything about Twerps is informal and unassuming, from its strictly utilitarian rocksteady backbeats to the endearingly bashful between-song banter of guitarist/vocalist Marty Frawley. Still, there's something mystical about the way the band is able to tap into the same forlorn, faraway jangle that once propelled remote outposts like Athens, Ga., and Christchurch, New Zealand, to musical prominence. And just when you thought the band was simply grooving on a retrocollegiate rock buzz, special weapon guitarist Julia MacFarlane would unleash a harrowing jag without breaking her stoic Bill Wyman-like stage posture. On songs such as "Bring Me Down," from the band's self-titled debut, Frawley conjured the free-range heartache of freshly obliterated love underneath a melancholic melody you couldn't turn away from. It's difficult to imagine Twerps translating its sound into mass appeal, but perhaps these off-road pockets of distant signal energy are what make the Twerps so engaging in the first place. A small-scale triumph is a triumph nonetheless.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Twerps

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle