20 Minute Loop hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, once the home of flower-power and hippies.
You'll hear strains of that era in 20 Minute Loop's self titled album, but let's face it this is a new
century - San Francisco has changed. This five piece band can sound like the Pixies, early R.E.M., the Mommas and the Poppas, but mostly they sound like 20 Minute Loop.
Aiding and Abetting
Kinetic pop music, kind of a somewhat relaxed version of Heavy Vegetable. The
writing is just as idiosyncratic, but not quite as manic. The effect is almost as invigorating,
AMG "Greg Giles and Kelly Atkins are the primary songwriting partnership behind 20 Minute Loop. The band has nothing to do with loops and everything to do with good, old-fashioned alienated roots of alterna-rock (the territory formerly occupied by other mighty, mixed-gender bands like X and the Pixies).They're disenfranchised all right, but the music doesn't necessarily reflect the singers' distress. Instead, happy hooks, cute keyboard passages, new wave beats(Face Like a Horse), climactic anthems (You Know So Much) and tidy but glorious pop (Bunnyman and Chickengirl) are the tuneful accompaniments to the requisite millennial themes of hardship in all of life's quarters. Former member of the beloved, cult pop band Jellyfish, producer Chris Manning ties it all together into a super-sweet indie-rock-box." ~ Denise Sullivan
Aquarius Records If you were to combine the energy and raw emotion of P.J. Harvey or Ani Difranco, the pacing and melodic swoops of the Throwing Muses, and the boy/girl vocals of the late P.E.E., you just might find 20 Minute Loop in your ears. If this sounds pleasing, you should definitely check out the new album from this Bay Area group.
rock hasn’t seen much honest sentiment behind it since the turn of the
last decade. Airwaves full of polished, corporate gloss and see-saw
lyrics saturate today’s radio dial, every other song sounding like a
rip-off of the last one’s so called "originality." Well, on the opposite
end of this alterna-pop trend is a band that serves as the garbage disposal
to the modern pop sinkhole. 20 Minute Loop is their name. They hail
from the curving streets of San Francisco, and they compose a sound
that’s complete with the flare and eccentricity of the streets they
are from ... Self
described as "freak pop", 20ML have a knack for producing the quality
lo-fi quirk and crunchiness that is such sacred, and often unobtainable
ground in today’s 60’000 seat arenas. Their sound is fresh, vitalizing
and completely freaky. The harmonized duo of frontliners Greg Giles
and Kelly Atkins produces an atmosphere so arresting, it’s like hearing
Kim Deal and Black Francis go at it for the first time. With start/stop
antics that use a Shudder to Think complexity, every track creates a
hook so ear catching that it’s as though the melodies have been on the
mind all along, finally connecting with their physical counterparts
Aversion.com "...20 Minute Loop is like a banana split laced with BBssticky sweet but willing and able to bust anyones teeth who isnt paying attention."
Delusions of Adequacy "...So, is it freak-pop? Sure, why not. The dual vocals are edgy and phrenzied at times, making for an interesting combination. The songs are poppy and bouncy without being trite, and slower parts are thrown in to keep you interested. Great first release and a lot of fun to listen to. I bet this band would be a top-rate live band."
Fatea (UK) "20 Minute Loop's eponymous debut is a hook heavy, collection of songs that namechecks so many artists and yet remains totally individual...20 Minute Loop are simply one of the freshest bands from either side of the pond that I've heard this year."
Go Girls Music "Self-described as '...a freak-pop quintet from San Francisco,' 20 Minute Loop is definitely a band to watch out for! Imagine all your favorite quirky "alterna-college" bands from the 80's & 90's rolled into one. Take the Pixies, R.E.M., They Might Be Giants, & a little bit of Sonic Youth. Throw it in a pan with lots of the band's own creativity & originality, and you have 20 Minute Loop. Ten stars!"
hEARd Magazine (Australia) "If ever there were to be a perfect pop band, it would be a joining of a couple of bands, namely The Pixies & The Clouds, both of which came up with fabulous harmonies, eclectically constructed melodies, wonderful loud & fuzzy guitars at times & a superb percussion section. A band which is certainly a near perfect example of that joining would be California based 20 Minute Loop, who have given us 11 tracks of simply wonderful guitar driven pop which the band calls 'freak pop', but which I call near heaven."
IMPACT PRESS "The self-titled debut for this San Francisco quartet is reminiscent of past quirky pop bands such as the Pixies and Throwing Muses. The band describes its sound as 'freakpop', and it definitely fits. The dual vocals of keyboardist Kelly Atkins and rhythm guitarist Greg Giles are one of the album's highlights. The duo's energetic harmonizing gives an edge to the band's 'freak'-poppy material, particularly She Hated Dogs, which should win a Grammy or something of equal value. Get your acceptance speeches ready, kids."
indiegeek.com "I love this band. I want everyone to listen to this band. This CD is easily on my top ten list of the year. Hard to describe. Hard to compare. Completely original pop music. Amazing vocals. I've played the cd to death..."
JETBUNNY "This disc is almost to complicated to explain in a paragraph or two so I'll be brief. Lots of lyrics all jammed into a very small space at first, but then the same lyrics over and over again sparsely populated around spacious songs, occasionally frustrated guitars, bizarre stories about people and their peculiarities. This girl has a really beautiful voice that saves it from being a little Weezerish at times, which isn't as far as I'm concerned the best thing in the world. Bravo."
Maximum Ink "The first difference noticed was that both a male and female sing every song on the album together, something rarely seen nowadays. With harmonies that would make even Simon and Garfunkle proud, Kelly Atkins and Greg Giles sing unusually nervous songs about everything from love and cake to dogs and old men..."
Noise Queen (Canada) "Good, rocking, intelligent material - a multi album deal with Dreamworks must be looming..."
SEE Magazine (Canada) The scientists will tell you that it takes at least 3 or 4 listens to a record before you can truly know how you feel about it; the ministers say you can know inside of two. I'm siding with the scientistsŠthis time. This Bay Area septet spends equal amounts of time entertaining you with Pixies-reminiscent surf, Throwing Muses-reminiscent quirky wordsmithery and some zippy boy/girl vocalizing from Greg Giles and Kelly Atkins. But the question is, do I like it? After 4 listens, yes I do. And you will, too, if you're a scientist.
San Francisco Bay Guardian "From the first tongue-twisting strains of this full-length demo, San Francisco's 20 Minute Loop align themselves with great (warped) pop groups like XTC and the Pixies. Their sound is idiosyncratic yet clean; well-crafted collages of harmony and errant meter sound like stream-of-consciousness ramblings but make perfect sense."
the fronting members of 20 Minute Loop, boy-girl lyrical tag-team Greg
Giles & Kelly Atkins have taken the best of the Pixies/Deal dissonance
and cut it with the thought completing counterpoint of Sleater-Kinney's
Corin Tucker & Carrie Brownstein. Hooky pop slides into new wave
echoes as the two wax beautiful on life's ugliness - and stuff that
makes far less sense: Russian airline disaster Aeroflot, parasitic
worms, and an inhuman love affair between Bunnyman & Chickengirl.
Atkins' crisp voice alternates between a sky-large wail and a throaty
moan, set off by Giles' folk-singer restraint. The group's turn-of-the-millennium
self-titled debut is one of the best local albums we've heard this year..."
May 3, 2000
SIGNAL DRENCH "... Aeroflot culminates in some joyous vocal dexterity before giving way to Up on the Hill, which highlights Kelly Atkins' versatile and expressive voice in a calmer environment of acoustic guitar and threatening drums. Disconnect comes close to rockin', but still manages to get a totally off-kilter bridge into the mix without a hitch... 20 Minute Loop succeeded on most levels here. They managed to pull off being quirky and enjoyable for the vast majority of this disc, and didn't get stuck in a rut of similar sounding tracks, with the overall feel remaining the same even if the delivery changes nicely from track to track.
SLAMM (San Diego Music Magazine) (FOUR out of FOUR STARS) "I know who has Sonic Youth's gear. They play in NoCal and shred like a motherfucker. A snug, Sleater-Kinney/Pixies-ish, yin-yang vocals kinda thing is the one constant of 20-Minute Loop -- that and the superior songwriting. Touted as "original music for the hook-hungry mob [and] the nervous foot," this debut from the band of the same name is a keeper. With lyrics that are ee cummings-quaint yet Slim Shady-clever, and a producer who's worked with NWA, what more do you want...? --Andy Gonzales SLAMM (San Diego Music Magazine)
Speck Fanzine From out of nowhere comes an exciting new act that can find fans of the Pixies and early XTC slobbering in lust. Branding their sound as Freakpop, 20ML take on the bloated indie-rock genre and make something of it. A spirited and far-out spazz-art machine with nutty lyrics and dueling vocals. Wacky and fun.
Splendid E-zine It's not easy to make "quirky pop". One misstep and you've got "wanna-be-quirky pop", characterized by massive radio airplay, huge album sales, a slot on the current multi-band festival of choice and, six months later, a personal credit counselor and a promising Assistant Manager gig at Starbucks. 20 Minute Loop write quirky pop. Had the Pixies and XTC not happened along, 20 Minute Loop's bristling rock ditties would seem far more unnerving; instead, the task of Being Odd is largely relegated to the band's lyrics, which paint a lurid cubist picture of hookworms, death, sex, failure, airplanes, fire, disfigurement and evil, rendered in high style via the vocal interplay of Kelly Atkins and Greg Giles. 20 Minute Loop will seize you by the ears, shake you violently, spin you around until you're nauseous and leave you lying on the sofa covered in a cocktail of your own vomit, bile and saliva. Or, if you're less susceptible to imagery, you can just listen to it.
am seriously impressed with this album. 20ML describe themselves as
freakpop. Im not sure exactly what the difference between that
and regular pop is, except that 20ML have some really odd lyrics about
horses, chickengirls, pornography, and communists, among other things.
Who cares, though? There are enough hooks here to fill two albums. The
dual male/female vocals (think Veruca Salt vs. Michael Stipe) are really
impressive, the production is stellar, and the instrumentation is top-notch."
TANGENTS E-ZINE (UK) " 20 Minute Loop are from California and are as informed by the off-centre Pop of Pavement as anything else. I don't know if 'quirkcore' is a journalistically recognized genre, or if it's been much used since Kimberley described their noise thus in the mid '80s, but certainly 20 Minute Loop would fit in such a category. Their eponymous album shows a typically end of the century obsession with collage and symbolic appropriation, and has some fine songs to boot."
Truckfighter (Sweden) "The CD is one of those happy pop records who thanks to it's quirky and often upbeat tempo never gets boring. Freakpop they call it themselves, not without a good reason I'd say. Kelly and Greg, the male/female vocalists share almost all the vocals on all the songs, a good choice since they complete each other brilliant(ly) in their vocal styles."
Unsealed E-zine "Good pop is hard to come by these days. You either get Top-40 fluff or just crappy alternative. SF's 20 Minute Loop is a pleasant exception to that trend. Their brand of alternapop, or as they like to call it 'freakpop', is catchy and infectious as good pop should be."