Thomas Tantrum are an indie-pop band. They have chiming/jangling guitars; loud bits and quiet bits; jerky rhythms; and vocals which quaver through the middle ground between speaking and singing while mocking backing vocals taunt them from a safe vantage point behind the guitars. They also have a quiet, tentative all-but-acoustic b-side, with soft guitars and a melancholy droning noise underpinning an abstractly tuneful voice.
So far, so genre-typical – or would be, if the method Thomas Tantrum use to glue these ingredients together weren’t so very much their own. Megan Thomas’ distinctive vocals certainly help in making the band’s sound so memorable, but the effect is surely just as much due to the way T. T. lace all the different parts of their songs together on a ramshackle stop-start framework which doesn’t quite sound like a tune; doesn’t quite seem to have the structure or momentum to stick in the head or really be a Pop Song – and yet which sticks firmly in your head in the manner of a very persistent burr. This effect is emphasised by the way these songs, though not playing overtly on the emotions – no screamingly obvious hammed-up minor chords or heart-wrung vocals – still contain enough odd barbs of chopped-up, disconnected feeling to leave one feeling disconcertedly effected in an unpindownable way…
So yes: once again, I find myself impressed by Thomas Tantrum. Hurrah for them.