The Twilight Summer Sweet Summer EP

[Van Gogh Round; 2004]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: indie rock
Others: The Velvet Underground, Of Montreal

Cleveland quartet The Twilight have been doing their thing for a few years now, and while a full length record has not yet been forthcoming, the band has turned some heads in the local scene, landed a few juicy gigs opening for acts of similar stripe, and looks to play out more in the near future. Simply put, they're a local band forging their way in the indie underground. But what are we here at Tiny Mix Tapes but star-makers? An early sign of regional approval lies in the album's credits -- one cut from this 5-song EP was recorded by Todd Tobias, a Bob Pollard cohort who recorded Guided by Voices's last album and played on Pollard's Fiction Man, among other credits. The Twilight's obvious touchstones are the Velvet Underground and contemporary psych-pop revivalists like Of Montreal. Summer Sweet Summer is a less schizophrenic version of Kevin Barnes' recent opus Satanic Panic in the Attic -- the band is reaching for lovable little sing-a-longs like that album's "Disconnect the Dots," and hit close to the mark with "Amsterdam" and "The Sound" after slight missteps (but winsome ones nonetheless) at the record's start. These songs make the best use of dynamics and solid production, while vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Tony Bunce stretches his fey vocals towards Beatleseque aspirations (with mixed results) on "I've Got Love." An inexpensive and promising document, Summer Sweet Summer should land The Twilight some good opening slots, and hopefully put the boys on the road with similar acts -- although this may indeed be the twilight (pun intended, I allow) of Elephant 6, it certainly isn't the waning of catchy, eloquent pop. Additional props for ending the record with the sounds of exploding fireworks. I miss summer already.

1. Apple Pie Suburbia
2. I've Got Something to Say
3. Amsterdam
4. The Sound
5. I've Got Love