Profile: 2:54

2:54 are a London-based duo comprised of sisters, Colette and Hannah Thurlow. Although their name is not the most thrilling or memorable, there is a rather endearing story behind it...

2:54 being the exact time of their favourite drum roll in the Melvins song A History Of Bad Men, (listen below).

Originally starting off as a grotty, punk outfit called The Vulgarians, they cite the likes of Kathleen Hanna, Joan Jett, Patti Smith as the role models who encouraged them to start making music. They were also influenced by the "DIY attitude of the riot girl movement. Bands like Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and Huggy Bear were exciting and liberating".

After their punk phase, the pair then moved towards experimenting with atmospheric doom music influenced by bands like Bad Brains, Queens Of The Stone Age and Brody Dalle of The Distillers (a personal favourite of mine). The band first emerged back in May last year with their debut release, Creeping; a swampy, lo-fi, distorted fuzz with soft, melodic vocals. The hype around the track (produced on Garageband), and the duo's popularity began spiralling, with online publications such as Fader and Nylon getting behind them. Since then, they have gone on to tour with Melissa Auf Der Maur, girl rockers, Warpaint, Blood Red Shoes and Yuck.

On A Wire was their next release, a slower, mysterious track with haunting baselines and a sinister hook with the lyrics, "I Will Find You", whilst Cold Front moves into a more upbeat rhythm, but still with a gloomy, slightly chilling atmosphere featuring dramatic cymbal crashes over classic chiming guitars.

Their EP, Scarlet, released in 2011 via Polydor Records, is brimming with post-adolescent moodiness, yearning and pained vocals with a soft vulnerability. The guitars are fuzzy, harking back to the nineties Alt-Rock scene - think PJ Harvey, Lush and The xx, and you've got a pretty good idea of 2:54. Lead singer, Colette explains their current single Scarlet:

"Scarlet seemed to act as a turning point for us. It has quite a specific atmosphere, its own world. It's a nocturnal feeling, a chant … a love song of sorts."

2:54's debut full-length album is set for release in April and is produced by long-time PJ Harvey collaborator, Rob Ellis and will feature a reworked version of 2012's Creeping, but the album is yet to be titled. For me, it's really refreshing to hear these girls doing what they love, not conforming to the bubblegum pop and prettiness that is so easily attributed to females. They are highly accomplished, having only learnt guitar in their twenties, with some seriously cool guitar parts in their tracks. I've even heard that Hannah is a little obsessed with guitar effects pedals. Now that's something I like to hear!

2:54 are currently on Tour with The Big Pink:

  • 09/02/2012 Wedgewood Rooms - Southsea, UK
  • 11/02/2012 Rescue Rooms - Nottingham, UK
  • 12/02/2012 O2 Academy 2 Liverpool - Liverpool, UK
  • 14/02/2012 King Tut's Wah Wah Hut - Glasgow, UK
  • 15/02/2012 Manchester Academy 3 - Manchester, UK
  • 16/02/2012 HMV Institute - The Library - Digbeth, UK
  • 18/02/2012 Digital - Brighton, UK

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