Two Lane Phonebooth
(Milligrams of Tar)
Black Lips, Candy Machine
Two Lane Phonebooth (T.L.P.) are an Indie rock band from Huntsville, Alabama. Their music is quirky, out-of-tune at times and somewhat of low production quality. All these factors seem to be the signature style for T.L.P. as all their albums seem to follow this unique formula. We hear this same formula used in 2009’s Milligrams of Tar, it is thirteen tracks of odd indie songs; some decent while others feel like filler songs. The vocals are monotone with minimal range, however, it’s fine for a few songs, but can get tiresome after a while. Sounding like Beck just gave up and doesn't give a crap anymore. The music is hit or miss as with many indie rock bands and the lack of production is a bit frustrating. We often don’t care for music that is over-polished, but a little depth here would help.
The album is a mixed bag as track one, "Brown Cow" is not the best opening, but you know what you’re in for right away as much of the album follows this style, at least it’s only 1:41 long. Things get better with "Piper," "We're So Far Away" and "Cubic Zirconium," they could be the best cuts off the album, we do find some good production here with some welcome vocal range as well. "Coswell Cogs" is a decent track, but at 3:19, the song is too long, yes, you read it right, too long, we like when the songs stay under the two minute mark. The experimental "Chaos in Me" is unique as it shows some exploration. Meanwhile tracks like "Moving Sidewalk," "Dried Peanut Butter from Yesterday" and "Zones of a Parking Lot" feel as if they are just going through the motions. "Womans Day," the last track is ok, there is some exploratory elements here and we give them props for this.
Overall our take on T.L.P. would make for a good EP. There are a few of the thirteen tracks that we liked, but that’s about it. Some fans of Indie rock will gravitate towards them because they do have a unique sound and that’s what they have going for them. So, maybe there on to something, but for around here we’ll just keep an eye on them. - 5/21/2014
Standout Tracks: Chaos in Me, Piper