Twerps @ Goodgod Small Club
On a rainy evening in Sydney, a small clan of hipsters gathered. They threw expensive backpacks over their shoulders, twisted their hair up into clumsy buns and buttoned collared shirts. It was time to indulge in waves of jangly pop. It was time to chill, to drink copious amounts of cider and to stand with heads bobbing in the dimly-lit Goodgod Small Club. It was time for Twerps.
“Twerps have been kind of a big deal for kind of a while now.”
But alas, it was 8:30 and the room was by no means full. There were people scattered around, chatting quietly amongst themselves and tossing back bourbon, when one Jonny Telafone approached the mike. Dressed in a singlet and shorts, Telafone was the picture of masculinity. He set up his laptop and let the Nine Inch Nails-esque backing track arouse the interest of his audience. ‘He’s the Trent Reznor of indie,’ an audience member proclaimed when he began singing. His voice was low, it pulsed; it throbbed. He sang about Star Wars, about how he intended to ‘make you cum’ and then sang the final song from his knees. It was a set worth watching- this star is quickly becoming the industrial equivalent of Sydney’s own Donny Benet, making the music of the past into a kitsch spectacle.
Songs followed. By now the venue was near capacity. People were gathered as close to the Sydney quartet as possible. Indies indulged in that awkward frontward-backwards sway. They were our highlight- four trained musicians forming a drone pop band. Complex chord progressions, laden distortion and use of harmonies from Ela Stiles and frontman Max Doyle mark this band as one to watch. One we at Vulture hope will release a sophomore release that showcases this new direction. When Stiles takes the mike, the vocals are haunting, a perfect compliment to guitarist Jeff Burch’s droning riffs. Doyle on the other hand appears to have the kind of indie pop voice that has been celebrated and adored throughout the ages. It was a set we wished would just go on and on and on. We were, in short, in awe.
And to the coup de grace, Twerps. Twerps have been kind of a big deal for kind of a while now. They play jangly lo-fi pop that has had them wooing audiences at South by Southwest and selling out national shows such as this one. Having developed a consistent sound all of their own since dropping ‘The’ from their name, Twerps have the kind of fans who, when wasted, chant and dance with limbs flailing. The songs of frontman Marty Frawley display a wit and charm that had the room buzzing. A sense of chirpy goodwill fluttered from person to smiling person, until the entire room, utterly entranced, was humming or singing along to ‘Through the Day.’ Julia MacFarlane is charming when she takes the singing reins, helped only by her ability to play some real catchy riffs. The set had all the pop and quirk any hip cat could wish for. If you wanted to have a little bit of Saturday night pop fun, Goodgod sure was the place to be.