Album Review: All Tvvins – IIVV


Released on 19th August 2016

Words: Gary Lambert

All-Tvvins-IIVVWith the exception of The Strypes, my record collection has been somewhat devoid of music from Ireland over the last few years. Whilst you associate Irish music with the traditional guitar sound, this album gets as far from that as possible. From the opening xylophonic summery blast, the whole of IIVV by All Tvvins sounds inspired by the British indie scene circa 2007.


Whilst the overall package sounds a bit like Friendly Fires, the standout influence in my opinion is the much maligned Hard-Fi – especially on opening track Book. The vocal on this track is my favourite on the album as there is a strong mix of aggression and passion which many vocals alongside synth tracks miss out as though only genteel is allowed. What becomes of that is a song that I am dying to hear live as I think it will give people the opportunity to give it back to the band in spades.


Unlike a lot of bands at present for whom vocals seem to be hidden in the mix as best as possible in order to squeeze themselves alongside the EDM market, All Tvvins seem to be working on the basis of creating anthemic pop music. Researching the band, I came across a rather harsh quote that the band “have paid their indie dues – now it’s time to go pop” from Irish Times back in 2014, admittedly supported by a quote from Conor Adams defiantly separating himself from his past in Irish indie bands. This album is pop in that it is not filled to the gills with raucous guitar, but there is no way that indie music can be renounced for this. IIVV is a beautiful indie pop record with a mix of power, poise and those moments that will get crowds jumping and punching the air. There are no tracks here which will lead to coordinated dancing in Flares in six months time. Although they will easily be able to get slots on the likes of T4 on The Beach – if that is still a thing.


Midway through the album comes The Call which is a call to arms to have a potential lover give them a chance and “turn nothing to something”. Although the chorus requires some smooth, long notes on keys followed by a fun blast, this is could be played by any traditional guitar band. In fact, I would love to hear a guitar version of this particular the song. It is the type of tune that makes you feel energised and want to throw yourself into a shoulder barge with a strange in a field and get bounced back.


The final track on the album, Unbelievable, sounds a touch frustrating in that it is only 3 minutes and 44 seconds long. There is room within the structure and syntax of this song to go overblown. There is the opportunity for a graceful pop epic showing off the band as musicians rather than just song writers, but maybe that is the line between viewing yourself in a pop band rather than an indie outfit. Nevertheless the song is a cracker and pushes the listener into a new world of potential.


Who knows what is next for All Tvvins! More Pop? Or turn to Rock? I don’t care, but I will be there.

Listen to IIVV here:

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