Nostalgia can be intoxicating, just ask Tawny Peaks; the New Jersey 5-piece whose historical roots are cast within the mold of American Football, Cap N’ Jazz and earnest Midwestern emo of the mid to early 1990s. The opening of “With Steps” is less an indicator of what proceeds it and is but a sparkling beginning to the many meandering musical stops the album visits, and there are moments on their debut that are just that- intoxicating.
The dual vocals of Charlie Perris and Molly Grund give the songs an occasional Rainer Maria vibe- like in “More Proof”- where the riffs are heavier than the twinkling beginnings of the album. Similarly, “March Sadness” turns up the melancholia set to the backdrop of more acoustic surroundings. “Ambiguity” is perhaps the album’s best affair; fully embracing the band’s influences while sounding fresh and in the now. It is also the most beautifully crafted song of the bunch, with its lush midtempo structure and weaving guitar/bass work that either Kinsella brother would be proud of.
Tawny Peaks is a unique record because it is both artistically and musically forward thinking but is very much linked to the past. In painting its aural atmosphere, it comes across as long gone and beautiful as an old photo. Once the needle hits the vinyl, there is an immediate sense of yesterday that overcomes the listener, and as the grand closer “Bring Back The Mountain” finishes its near 8-minute trek, you are left with that sense of musical fulfillment rarely felt today. (Glass Nail Records)