Released on the super-duper Team Love Records, who are down with all the Web 2.0 kids (ie. they give some stuff away for free and are quite friendly - watch this space for a full label profile in the coming week), and licensed here in the UK to Moshi Moshi (who positively ooze cool), and the follow-up to 2006's stupendous Bottom of Barrels, "O" should have been a dead cert. for everyone's best-of-'08 lists. Sadly, having now heard the thing, I'm not so sure; though it could grow on me.
For those of you unfamiliar with the band, Tilly and the Wall are a 3-girls-2-boys outfit who rode out of the depths of Omaha on the back of Conor Oberst (a big favourite in this house). Their main gimmick is that in place of a drummer they have a tap dancer. Sadly it would appear they haven't the faith in their convictions, as many of the songs on this record feature real drums. Which is, quite frankly, a bit of a let down.
The sleeve to this records has been touted as having a swish die-cut oval that showcases some fan-submitted artwork. This doesn't seem to be in evidence on the copy I have. The cover is pretty dire; monotone and pixelated; reminiscent of a self-release by a rubbish garage-punk band.
That aside, it's not all bad news. O takes a while to get started, but does eventually deliver some fairly good tunes, though it's a bit of a battle getting to them. To my ears (speaking as someone who rates their last album quite highly) this is all a bit too childish and, dare I say it, pop. Nineties pop, to be precise. Beat Control, in particular, is very dated. In fact, I'll go as far as to say this whole record is about ten years too late...
Tilly and the Wall - Dust Me Off