In the beloved Omaha, Nebraska, indie scene packed with brooding and emotive acts Bright Eyes, Cursive and the Faint, Tilly and the Wall always seemed like the apple-cheeked innocents among a cast of dark hearts. It even used a tapdancer in lieu of a drummer, for Christ's sake. But there was always a frothy mix of burbling hormones and pop-music energy in the band's songs, and the dance-rock vibe on the just-released Heavy Mood shows a continued movement toward electronic pop music. "Defenders" strikes a bellicose pose through rugged drum-machine patterns and strident vocals, but elsewhere on the LP, the band's shared vocals are used to gentler but no less effective ends.
Icky Sticky: Tilly and the Wall guitarist showed off his new project, Icky Blossoms, at the Firebird this summer while on tour with the Mynabirds, pumping out sinister sex jams and strobe-light pulses in relentless measure.