Release Date: Nov 9, 2010
Record label: In the Red Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Noise-Rock, Punk-Pop
The members of Detroit’s Tyvek, underground favorites and probably one of the first bands mentioned when “that whole lo-fi pop, garage, punk thing” is brought up, like to keep folks guessing. Last year’s Siltbreeze-released debut full-length was a bit of a divisive head-scratcher. The self-titled release was dominated more by decaying, almost bleak instrumental meanderings than the half-cocked pop-fuzz that made the group’s many singles such hot items.
Full of half-hearted fuzz riffs and tossed-off two-note vocals, Tyvek's self-titled debut made for great recession-era listening. In a world suddenly crowded with dying malls, half-built condos, and underwater McMansions, the Detroit basement-punks' wobbly songwriting sounded weirdly poignant. And the name-- copped from the ubiquitous polyethylene house-wrap-- didn't hurt either.
Tyevk might be protesting too much with the title Nothing Fits. After all, In the Red, which released this album, is a perfect fit for their brash, off-kilter punk, placing them alongside the Black Lips and the Intelligence. Even the way the letters of their name dance around the album cover in no obvious order is a fitting and playful nod to their legally mandated name change from Tyvek to Tyevk.
Tyvek came to wider attention outside of their hometown of Detroit on the basis of a more fractured take on the lo-fi/garage explosion of a few years ago. At a time when it seemed like a new “garage” band was releasing a 7-inch or CD-R every week that you “just have to hear,” which was usually forgotten by the time the next band had released another, Tyvek sank their teeth into a lot of listeners and hung on tight with compelling hooks tucked inside unusual song structures. They were offering a sort of post-punk approach compared to the immediate punk tendencies of their peers, and it worked.
Let me start by saying that I am not entirely qualified to be reviewing this record. Like a great portion of Drowned in Sound readers (I think?), I am not all that punk. I am currently typing this piece while wearing a particularly natty pair of Italian trousers cut from 'Super 100s' wool, and a navy blazer accessorized with a white pocket square. Those more astute members of our readership may have spotted Drake’s Thank Me Later as my pick for 2010 record of the year.
On Tyvek’s Nothing Fits, nearly everything fits. The photograph adorning the Detroit outfit’s sophomore album—a girl, masked and nearly naked, staring at dog figurine—should come off more disarming than it does. Instead, it falls in lock step with the closet box photography gracing the covers of this year’s Vampire Weekend and Dum Dum Girls albums.