Bar Italia: The Twits critique – a throwback to alternative rock of the mid-1990s.


The release of The Twits, less than six months after Tracey Denim, Bar Italia’s debut on Matador (their third album overall), suggests a sense of urgency within the band. However, their latest songs from the London-based trio of Nina Cristante, Jezmi Tarik Fehmi, and Sam Fenton do not demonstrate significant growth or change. Their influences still stem from mid-1990s alternative rock (such as Blonde Redhead and a less playful version of Pavement) and 1980s Cure, with a hint of the introspective style of early xx in the track “Que Suprise.” Once again, the three members take turns on vocals within songs, adding a nice touch that creates a sense of eavesdropping on conversations. However, this technique may have been more effective with clearer and stronger vocals.

Their strongest performances are on their more concentrated tracks: there is a confident energy in the beginning track My Little Tony, and Worlds Greatest Emoter features a catchy and cheerful bassline. However, when the pace slows down, songs like Calm Down With Me and Bibs become difficult to digest and too often, The Twits comes across as a ponderous success of style over substance.