Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy

In a reworking of the band's lo-fi cult sixth album, Will Toledo subtly polishes the Car Seat Headrest sound to make a good record great

Album Review by Finbarr Bermingham | 13 Feb 2018
Album title: Twin Fantasy
Artist: Car Seat Headrest
Label: Matador
Release date: 16 Feb

Ambitious, indulgent and prolific. Words that jar with the slacker rock genre, but which fully apply to Will Toledo and Car Seat Headrest. The band’s latest is a reworking of their sixth album, Twin Fantasy, which was originally released in 2011 (the first four came out in 2010. See: “prolific”). 

In the years since, Car Seat Headrest’s popularity has grown exponentially. Teens of Denial, the band’s 2016 LP, took a huge leap sonically from its scuzzy predecessor Teens of Style. Toledo’s singing was higher in the mix, the sound was clearer and more accessible. That is the same toolkit with which they have upgraded Twin Fantasy and the progression is just as marked.

Toledo has taken what was already a fine album, added a lick of paint and (look away now, lo-fi fans) a squirt of polish. If Twin Fantasy One sounded like it was recorded in someone’s toilet, this one was laid in the garage. Already, it was ambitious in its own right, with two tracks topping ten minutes. The redux is grander still: an emboldened Toledo adds six minutes to the wonderful Famous Prophets. A multi-part indie opera taking in piano bridges, chunky riffs and choral refrains before winding down with robotic voice samplings, this track better than any sums up the creativity that seeps from everything Toledo does.

Indulgent? Possibly, but it works, because this record – even the longest tracks – is punchy, witty and razor sharp.

Listen to: Beach Life-in-Death, Famous Prophets (Stars), Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)