Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo originally recorded Twin Fantasy as a nineteen year old, but it remained unfinished. Not because he didn’t want to finish it, but because didn’t know how to. Now, with his band in tow, the use of a proper studio, and most importantly, time, he’s managed to complete the album he always wanted to make. Painstakingly deconstructing and reconstructing, (8 months was spent mixing the drums!) Twin Fantasy serves as the perfect follow-up to 2016's Teens Of Denial. This time there’s been no interruption from Rik Ocasek either.
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 15 February 2018
Listening to a Car Seat Headrest album is like those times you see a friend with a new partner and you think "what do you see in him/her"? They are one of our biggest sellers but ....why? I've heard countless songs of theirs in the office/on the radio and every time I've just thought - well this is pretty average why does it sell so much?
The best thing about Will Toledo is a) his name and b) that he stood up to Ric Ocasek but everything else about his music smacks of the really awful '90s slacker rock that came in the wake of Pavement. I mean some of this stuff is sub New Bad Things. His is a scratty, scrawly take on messy indie that has neither tune nor substance. Instead it revels in a kind of loser, slacker aesthetic where being bad is actually being good. Nothing here has grabbed my attention - only perhaps for how bad some of the songs are. 'Stop Smoking (We Love You)' is classic Car Seat Headrest. It has a repetitive banal lyric, a chord sequence that has been done a squillion times before being 'sung' by a man who seems to find it a bit of a challenge to actually open his mouth.
Even on the more ambitious tracks such as 'Sober to Death' Toledo can't seem to bring himself to sing in anything but a croaky stoned drawl. It's only on tracks like this where I hear what it is so many people love about him - it bursts into a quite anthemic chorus and it's on these more energetic moments that Toledo's talents come to the fore more obviously.
He has that hazy lo-fi approach perfectly down pat but he'll never be Robert Pollard because he can't do anything memorable and relies on his stoned guy/joker aesthetic to get through. Look, this music is ok. It's reasonably enjoyable lo-fi guitar rock - it would help if he could part his lips a bit. I'm being overly harsh on it only because from seeing the love devoted to them you'd think it was the second coming of Sebadoh/GBV/the Breeders all in one. I don't get it...it's um... ok. They're about as good as their name I suppose.
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