When is the line between cliché and too cliché crossed? When does 90s nostalgia become excessively sugar-coated? The pop rock made in the 90s is not bad at all – when in small doses. Twelve a.m. Flowers recreate this typical old school sound, but some are a bit too saccharine.
We don’t know that much about Twelve a.m. Flowers. They’re a big crew composed of Kevin McGinnis (vocals, guitars, piano), Clarice Jensen (cello), Russ Fink (bass), Kevin March (drums), Anders Kapur (piano). The cello and extra bass you can hear in the record are Karen Satterthwaite and Tony Maimone. They’ve been mostly compared to Jeff Buckley and Smashing Pumpkins, but their influences clearly include most of the good music from the last two decades.
Jumping to Curiously Immortal, it’s needless to say that the nostalgic and joyous atmosphere is the leading feature of most of its tracks. Some tracks stand out for their sunnier approach, like the country-ish Temptation Rants and Becomes Pretends. More dreamy and effects are involved in Sudowner Winds, in which the drums path and the atmosphere reminds me of the cheeriest Coldplay, and also Curiously Immortal and the closure Pistols at Dawn, which actually plays a bit more with folk creating a sound which can be associated with the Feelies. The melancholic songs, in which the cello is one of the leading acts, can be compared to Buckley (so yes, that was right), Soundgarden and somehow the Connels. Among them, Empire Crush, Ninety Goodnights and Hush Paranoia are the ones worth checking, especially the latter one. It’s necessary to mention that the main issue of Curiously Immortal is its length; indeed some of the songs risk to become all the same, without actually standing out.
A really nice album on the whole: perfect if you’re in the grip of some pop rock nostalgia, to be avoided if you cannot stand the melody amid aching strings.