2:54 at Empty Bottle | Concert preview
There is a lucid immediacy to the ethereal pop of 2:54. Maybe more dreamers should listen to the Melvins.
What an enigmatic band. There is no text on the cover of 2:54’s debut album, 2:54, only a photo of some rugged slate shoreline on the North Atlantic. The song titles read like answers to a game of word association without the questions: “Sugar,” “Scarlet,” “Watcher,” “Ride,” “Creeping,” etc.
I wasted too much time searching for meaning in this cryptic band name. If those were odds, they’d pay lousily, four cents on a buck bet. In the Bible, one verse matched, Ezra 2:54, but that merely listed some of the Nethinim, temple workers. No, in fact, it is time code, the precise moment in a Melvins song when the bass hits a particularly deep and doomy frequency.
A scuzzy grunge band is an odd inspiration for a dreamy girl duo, Hannah and Colette Thurlow, sisters from Bristol, England. Yet low-end is the key ingredient in the twosome’s bewitching goth-pop. The Thurlows sing with breathy voices, interweaving like vapor. You need not discern the lyrics to know the mood is bleak and romantic. The simple eighth-note basslines throbbing underneath give the songs shape and power. Dream-pop is typically more, well, sleepy.
Take a closer look at the album cover. There are people on there, tiny. The Thurlows stand atop a cliff, dwarfed by roaring waves and dark rock. I can’t think of a word that would better describe the band, either.