If Dark and Stormy wasn’t the name of a popular rum-based cocktail, then it could be that of this second album from London-based sisters, 2:54. For, with ‘The Other I’, Hannah and Colette Thurlow have created one hell of a gloomy atmosphere. Drums and guitars crash against each other like the North Sea at its most winterly – except while that conjures up some pretty uncompromising scenes, this follow-up is a little, well, tame.
Opener ‘Orion’, ‘No Better Prize’ and in particular ‘Crest’ later on do match the doom, gloom and general darkness of the record as a whole with a musical intensity that befits it; but where the energetic ‘Crest’ creates a bluster, much of the rest of the record is – as moody as it is – able to pass without much more than a mild wind.
The pair’s vocals do interweave with blinding ease (which isn’t, as history suggests, hard if you share parents), but where this is cleverly employed on the folky interlude ‘Tender Shoots’, it’s lost and forgettable on the 80s soul-tinged ‘Blindfold’. Just as the pair’s ability to create moods with just their guitars is impressive – it’s a bit much over twelve tracks.