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Tilly and the Wall

‘Heavy Mood’
(Team Love)

When you’ve documented the joys and pains of youth as much as Tilly And The Wall did on their first two (fabulous) records, how best to grow up? Three of the Omaha quintet are now parents, and with evenings of drunken hi-jinks (as recounted on early classic ‘Nights Of The Living Dead’) surely growing distant in their rear view mirrors, you’d be forgiven for fearing that the feisty Tilly spark has dimmed over the last few years.

Not a bit of it. Having started to shy away from their swoonsome folk-pop sound on their previous self-titled record, they’re getting feistier and noisier with age. The title track is the closest they’ve come so far to an out-and-out dance number, whilst ‘All Kinds Of Guns’ (replete with girl-group melody) and ‘Thicker Than Thieves’ (typical Tilly riotousness) are among several fine additions to their bulging armory of ‘us against the world’ anthems.

It’s when they finally slow things down that the band run into trouble; ‘I Believe In You’ and ‘Hey Rainbow’ just drift languidly by without making much of an impression, in contrast to genuinely affecting past efforts like ‘Let It Rain’.

A chorus of kids accompanies the closing ‘Defenders’ – an appropriate finale, as on the evidence of ‘Heavy Mood’, Tilly And The Wall are still very much in touch with their collective inner child.

Alex Gosman