by AliW1993 USER (134 Reviews)
June 21st, 2012 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although it sounds great, 2:54's opening gambit lacks the substance required to be truly memorable.

For all of its heavy influences and gloomy overtones, what's immediately noticeable about 2:54's debut is just how slick a beast it is. This may seem contradictive, but for sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow it's come as something of a realisation of their early progress. Buoyed by the acclaim they received upon forming in 2010, the pair have displayed admiral decisiveness in the way that they've already moved to refine and eradicate their primitive glitches. The result is a record that's overwhelmingly streamlined, but also one pruned so thoroughly that it genuinely borders on perfection. At times, this development is so advanced that it's a wonder they're still an act in their infancy, but there are nevertheless some terminal strands of naïvety which keep them grounded and betray that newcomer status.

Before delving into criticisms, let's take a moment to revel in all that's good about this album - namely the appetising and accomplished sound that it conveys. Incorporating post-punk's grim exterior, shoegaze's sodden reflection and grunge's moody angst, it's a chilly and decidedly joyless sonic trip which nevertheless proves intensely satisfying. Brooding, murky and unashamedly gothic, it presents itself with an assurance that's truly commendable for such a young duo, and is only optimised further by a supremely dingy production job. With only the occasional outbursts of filthy distortion, it's been shaped into a model that's both disciplined and deliberate, and while not especially unique it's hard to argue against them having perfected the style.

It's unfortunate then that this stellar template is applied to a group of songs which are distinctly hit and miss. Those which do hit, such as 'Easy Undercover' and 'Scarlet,' are an ideal culmination of the Thurlow's strengths, coming across in a manner that's both carefully measured and impulsively sexy. They, as well as other similarly confident numbers are, however, largely crammed into the record's first half, and while this makes for an impressive opening it also means that the appeal does begin to wane. The fact that there's next to no variety in both pace and tone certainly doesn't help, but when push comes to shove, the main issue is that the majority of the songs past the record's halfway mark simply aren't up to scratch. This isn't a pattern without exception - fourth track 'A Salute' doesn't do much to assert itself either, whilst the appropriately eerie closer 'Creeping' is arguably the finest of the lot - but the dip as the record progresses is certainly noticeable.

Luckily, the sound that the pair have moulded ensures that these flaws aren't exposed too brutally, but songwriting is without doubt an area in which they possess much room for improvement. It's a challenge which shouldn't be beyond them, as proved by the album's stronger moments, but until they do address it their music will continue to ring a little hollow. If they can get all of these elements working in tandem, 2:54 are be well capable of causing a stir. If that does transpire, though, this debut will be a record remembered for laying reasonably solid foundations as opposed to igniting their greatness.

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user ratings (27)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 21st 2012


its only 2:41 here

June 21st 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

Because I've not applied


Also posted at http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Band wins cool points for being named after their favourite moment in their favourite Melvins song (A History Of Bad Men). They lose cool points because said name is unsearchable in the sputnik database.

Feedback on the review would be good. Deliberated over it for quite a while.

Scarlet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGH7bKlABIc

Creeping: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWbL8uXonQ8

Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2012


Ali for Contributor 2012.

Change We Can Believe In.

Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2012


The first paragraph of this review is close to perfect. The wind seems to go out of your sails a little (sentence structure and the like started to get a bit samey) after that, but it's still excellent.

Listened to this the other day actually; was kind of 'meh' about it.

June 21st 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Album's pretty good

June 24th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

The result is a record that's overwhelmingly streamlined, but also one pruned so thoroughly

that it genuinely borders on perfection. At times, this development is so advanced that it's a

wonder they're still an act in their infancy


no mention of Ride? That's my favourite song :o Good review, although you only really seem to

describe what the album's like in the 2nd paragraph? Idk but maybe you could say a little more on

it. Also, even though the sisters definitely appear to be the heart of the band, I'm pretty sure

they're a 4 piece

Might write a review of my own. With more adjectives (I like adjectives)

Digging: 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin - Without Warning

January 14th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

this has slowly grown on me more and more over the past few months. might even be creeping into my top 10 of 2012

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