Twink ~ Critter Club

Critter ClubTwink’s Critter Club (no relation to the Simon & Schuster series) is an odd trio of animals whose costumes are visible on the cover and whose identities are revealed on three tarot-style cards within.  Twink himself (Mike Langlie) is a playful individual whose last major release, Happy Houses, was a solo effort awash in toytronica.  This time around, he’s broadened his horizons by adding a full band.  Not everyone plays at the same time, but the addition of horns, strings and woodwind enhances these pieces to an incredible degree.  The tempos are slower (although still quite fast), the timbres are deeper and the tracks are fuller.  It’s not modern classical, but it’s moving in that direction, a smart shift to avoid pigeonholing.  Not that Langlie has abandoned his old sound; he’s simply enhanced it.  Once the toy piano band, Twink is now the band.

“L(? 0 W 0 ?)¬” includes the highest number of players – four, including Langlie – and the contrast is immediately clear.  Less twee than usual, the track shifts swiftly from the xylophone to the bass and horns.  At 116 BPM, it’s mature and approachable, more Special K than Froot Loops.  The odd title is meant to imitate an animal mask, this one with a bent ear.  The other eleven tracks bear similar titles: typographical tricks that wink and stare.  “(:· º ??? º ·:)” slows the pace even more, showcasing the strings and yielding a light Middle Eastern flair.  But only a few minutes later, the nap time ends.

It’s amusing to see how fast Langlie gets when no one is around; the tempo picks up again on the sixth track, which is all his own.  Yes, there’s that video game vibe.  By “\{ ·* U *· }/”, the music boxes have resumed their friendly battle, surrounded by cheering squads of clarinet and electronic sheep.  We all have to grow up sometime, but the greatest maturity lies in those who are able to embrace their inner child.  Twink speeds away on his bicycle, ringing his bell.  We find his discarded mask.  Who was that masked man?  (Richard Allen)

Release date:  30 September

Available here on release day

One comment

  1. Pingback: Twink ~ Critter Club, Yes music

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