ALBUM REVIEW - Twin Cities "Missing Out On Nothing"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Written by Ryan Stoldt, Will Erickson, and Caleb Drummond Recorded by Jesse Yaeger Mixed/Mastered by Jake Smith Album artwork by Hannah Scott Released Nov. 6th, 2015


Album Review by Torin Andersen
Written by Ryan Stoldt, Will Erickson, and Caleb Drummond
Recorded by Jesse Yaeger
Mixed/Mastered by Jake Smith
Album artwork by Hannah Scott

Released Nov. 6th, 2015

Their first LP in a series of releases since late 2013, Twin Cities is taking the opportunity to reference influences and recall old flames, wondering if this is all there is.

"Wedding Vows" starts off Missing Out on Nothing with a Mineral/Promise Ring kind of vibe that references late 90's midwest indie rockers a repeating reference on Twin Cities newest release.  A short journey, Wedding Vows starts slow and gives way to an angsty build that ends after a mere 1:14.

"Romantic Comedy" changes tempo and ups the ante with a tighter, harder sound similar to early Get Up Kids (more midwest indie rock).  Some of the lyrics on Missing Out on Nothing are heart wrenching if not desperate.  "Romantic Comedy" ends with guitarist Ryan Stoldt sounding determined yet burned, singing, "Starting over for the hundredth time, feeling thrown away, feeling cliche, like you wasted my entire life," and ending abruptly.

Bouncier with a ton of rhythm and feel changes, "Day After Day" exemplifies how tight Wichita's hottest rhythm section - Will Erickson on Drums and Caleb Drummond on bass - have become in their short time performing in so many groups together.  Adept, slinking and a fun musical arrangement, "Day After Day" is complete with a hook-laden chorus followed by a memorable bass fill at the end of the passage.  "Day After Day" is a strong pop arrangement rife with plenty of well-honed vocal hooks as well.

Much in the vein of Vitreous Humor (perhaps not so long forgotten Lawrence, KS, indie rock), "I'm Still Sad About It" continues reminiscing, referencing and reflecting - something that may have needed more consideration during the recording of Missing Out on Nothing.  The proper emotional motivation for performing these pieces is critical to the genre vibe.  Somewhat frustrating though, there are many times on Missing Out on Nothing that just trying the vocal performance one or two more times would have made the difference between an emotional performance to something tight and emotional, translating to a broader audience.  Such is the situation with many DIY outfits, bands often rely on friends to help produce their recordings on limited time and budgetary constraints.

In this case, Twin Cities enlisted the help of Jesse Yaeger to record the band and focus on what they could in the few days they were allotted.  Mixed and Mastered by Jake Smith, the band opted to celebrate the release of Missing Out on Nothing by throwing a party at Walnut Gallery in Delano.  Sharing the show with friends Kill Vargas and Postboy, these DIY shows aren’t cheap to put on.  It would do Twin Cities a a great deal of good if you, the listener, would buy the release available at twincitiesmusic.bandcamp.com and help these guys commit this to vinyl so we can all enjoy the beautifully poignant artwork produced by Hannah Scott on a larger scale.

"I'm afraid of missing out on everything, I'm afraid of missing out on nothing, and this is all there is" is a stand out if not fatidic lyric on this release, Twin Cities' first LP (sixth release in total).  Guest vocalist Jenny Wood harmonizes over an escalating music bed reminiscent of Braid (more 90's midwest rock) and some of their best tension-filled musical build ups.  

Followed by "These Things," the depth of Missing Out on Nothing is highlighted in this gentle gem.

With a guest appearance from Jake Smith on lap steel, "Secret Tattoo" makes use of some classic, The Cars-style doo-wop backup singer stylings. Oddly though, the song's chorus sounds like En Vogue's famous hit about not getting back together with an old flame.  If this was a conscious effort, Ryan Stoldt and Will Erickson (only co-written lyrics on the release) are a new kind of postmodern lyrical genius.

Hearing more references to late and mid 90's indie rockers - i.e. American Football - through Lights Off, Seventeen and Brown Eye's, it's evident that Twin Cities wear their influences on their sleeve.  More uniquely, album closer "Diary" accentuates Twin Cities strengths.  Like "These Things," "Diary" is deeply cared for, much like many of the relationships referenced throughout the album.  Guest violinist Emily Bishop and pianist Jake Smith provide a nuanced performance softening up this already emotional and dramatic piece.  "These Things" and "Diary" work on Missing Out on Nothing like the drunken and possibly forgotten kiss from a post-bar escapade sung about in "These Things."  Missing Out on Nothing is a reference to not missing out but rather, just missing.  Beware looking back too much, you may miss what's right in front of you.

YOU CAN STREAM, PURCHASE, OR DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE NEW TWIN CITIES ALBUM FROM THEIR BANDCAMP PAGE