Tilly and the Wall

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 July, 2006, 12:00am

Tilly and the Wall

Bottoms of Barrels

(Team Love)

You might have thought that eschewing a drummer in favour of a tap-dancer was enough to win Tilly and the Wall acres of press, but the Omaha, Nebraska, five-piece have been winning rave reviews instead for their happy-tappy take on 1960s-tinged pop.

Tilly come with impeccable credentials, being mates with emo main man Conor Oberst of the mopesome Bright Eyes, and this, their second album, is tipped to launch them into the big time.

In what's likely to be the alternative listener's sound of the summer, the effervescent Tilly - three girls and two blokes - take the cantering pop of the Shangri-Las, Shirelles and Ronettes and weld it to a curious brew of punk sensibility and folky inflections.

The songs are good - think Polyphonic Spree meets the Tiller Girls- but it's Jamie W's fancy footwork that really steals the show.

With a ferocious clack and boom that sounds more like the assault on Stalingrad than the rat-a-tat of a Broadway chorus line, here twinkle toes give the songs a shimmering drive that collides with the sort of bored-shop-assistant vocals that marks so much American alternative bands these days.

In fact, it's so pervasive as to be overbearing on occasion. The otherwise sluggish Black and Blue, for instance, is constantly having to play catch-up with Jamie's speeding plates.

Opener Rainbow in the Dark should win prizes for the best employment of a glockenspiel in a pop song, and Bad Education will have your toes tapping along as well.