Reviews for:



Agouti Music (Jughead) "I won't take the easy road. Anyone reviewing a 20 Minute Loop album could mail it in and make jokes about how the album, Decline of Day, is actually more than 2.9 loops, or 58 minutes, long.

But I'm not going to do that. What I like about 20 Minute Loop is that I can legally start a sentence with a number. You're not supposed to do that, you know. Observe the following examples. 20 Minute Loop mix male and female vocals with just enough quirkiness without sounding weird. Thirty-two times is how many times I have listened to Decline of Day. So now you know what I like about 20 Minute Loop's name, along with some sly references of what I like about their music.

Generally, when I hear an album that features a male and female lead, I go right to the female-driven tracks. It would be easy to do that here, as well, but I cannot overlook "Daughter's Down." This is a very solid track. "Mechanical Angels" is a neat song. It features some great harmonizing. "Mompha Termina" is a little alarming the first time, but it just gets better with each listen. It doesn't really belong on the album, but it stands alone very well. But the best song, far and away, is "Vaccine." It's got cool sounds and cool lyrics and is loads of fun to listen to over and over again. As you see, the recurring theme is repetition. This album is like a fine Napa wine. It gets better with age. But unlike a bottle of cabernet, this CD will last forever."

Aiding and Abetting Almost impossibly catchy songs, richly arranged (there are tons of sounds in these pieces) and expertly played and sung. With abandon.

It's that bit of exuberance which really draws me in. These folks are astonishingly good at what they do, but these songs are tossed off like a bag of popcorn. Such nonchalance is rarely found in combination with thick textured music.

I'm getting chills. That good? Absolutely. The songs drill their way into my head and simply refuse to leave. I'm trying to dissect the stuff so that I can explain my state of bliss, but the real truth of the matter is that it's the almost impossible combination of characteristics which really makes 20 Minute Loop so astonishing.

I know, I said kind things about the band's last release. Add those to this and then multiply. Maybe then you'll begin to get an idea of just how good these folks are.

All Music Guide Belonging to the post-Pixies generation of alternative bands, 20 Minute Loop brings on the guitars and male/female vocal interplay that was at the core of that influential group's sound, while putting its own futuristic and gentle spin on the blueprint for modern alterna music. Vocalist and keyboardist Kelly Atkins and guitarist and vocalist Greg Giles share the bulk of the songwriting, and together they've created their own world of song — simultaneously bleak and melancholic but nonetheless hopeful. The sadness comes in the form of spooky and downbeat melodies (as on "Jubilation"), but there's a lighter take on "Moses" and especially on "All Manner," with its lovely "la la la" choruses. Doubt, fear, and cynicism are covered over by shining, ascending melodies ("Force of Habit"). There's an undaunted quality to the strength and determination of 20 Minute Loop's sound and a soulfulness all too rare during the icy age of early-21st century rock." ~ Denise Sullivan

AOL Local Guide: San Francisco (Benjamin McKay) 20 Minute Loop "Check your genre at the door..." Tragically insouciant and playfully sincere, 20 Minute Loop (20ML) revel in darkly comedy lyrics like those of the lush, noisy song "Jubilation" -- ""she took a beating and coughed into her hand and settled into some jubilation." The "he said, she said" harmonies of lead singers Greg Giles and Kelly Atkins play, at times, like a dreamy, nonplussed game of one-upmanship. However, at the very moment one might be tempted to categorize the band as self-conscious and clever, 20ML will extract a heartfelt ballad from their repertoire. Drawing from such disparate influences as Camper Van Beethoven and Kate Bush, 20ML's sonic affinity belies a more Pixies-esque lineage. Comparisons of Atkins' voice to that of Tanya Donnely's (Throwing Muses, Breeders and Belly) seem nearly inescapable, though Atkins' styling ventures alternately into landscapes more atmospheric and raucous. As musicians, the band members are accomplished to the point of having fun with their songs, freeing them to stage a captivating show.

Aquarius Records The second release from this San Francisco pop group unveils a looser, much more confident presence with an added dash of pop bombast. Brings to mind a hybrid of REM and - as with their previous release - the Throwing Muses with its well-executed, slightly twisted melodies, slinky guitars, and varied tempos... not to mention the very Stipe-esque male and Hersh-ish female vocals. Gentle, slow prettiness sits comfortably next to the considerably more upbeat and energetic. Quite a solid sophomore effort that'll surely win them a sizable batch of new supporters.

The Big Takeover A wall of sound bursts out Pixies Trompe Le Monde style and then bleeds down into some Breeders/B-52's collision. Exciting and invigorating pop rock sometimes turns dark corners, scraping off an imagery that hints at a medieval mood, like Rasputina, and then speeds straight ahead into dynamic dueting vocals and hook-filled shiny guitar riffs that brings to mind the upbeat pop of such bands as Sleeper or Elastica. The strong and mesmerizing voices of singers Kelly Atkins and Greg Giles holds the music together, keeping the tones tight between them. The high low harmonies mixed with the lyrics, "Black heart links the body with the mind, ties them up with metal wires" keeps hitting with a Pixies vibe, but the emotional interplay between singers and sounds is much more subtle and seductive. (www.fortunerecords.com)

EPITONIC "20 Minute Loop is a San Francisco five-piece whose songs roll and bounce all over the musical map. The constant in 20ML's eclectic musical stew is its overall, well, freakiness -- hence the name they've given their sound: "freakpop" Now, we're not talking Kool Keith-type freakiness here; it's of a decidedly more indie rock variety. Lyrically, 20ML are of the same smart idiosyncratic stuff as XTC, or perhaps Robyn Hitchcock, with offbeat songs about bunnymen and chickengirls, hookworms, and drowning. Musically, you'll hear the influence of the Pixies in the fuzzy guitars, unconventional but pop-friendly song structures, and male/female vocal baton passing (the San Francisco Bay Guardian reported that singers Kelly Atkins and Greg Giles sound like PJ Harvey and Michael Stipe jacked on Prozac, and if there were a better description in the world for their vocal style, you'd be reading it right here). 20ML showed off their capricious musical virtuosity on their self-titled 1999 debut album, which contains "Everybody Out" and "Face Like a Horse." In 2001, they returned with Decline of Day, on which they continued to develop their noisy and forceful twisted pop style. There's something a bit darker, denser, and more dangerous about the group's sophomore effort; the freakiness would seem to have grown a bit more schizophrenic and the album's manically tuneful songs seem on the verge grabbing you by the neck, shaking you violently, and screaming "Live! Feel! Be!" Which, upon reflection, is pretty damn fabulous. The album features "Jubilation," "Pilot Light," and "Elephant." ~ Jesse Ashlock

Flavorpill 2/11/03: "20 Minute Loop" may bring to mind a pale computer programmer with way too many Eno records in his collection, but fear not - it's really the name of a five-piece from Kentfield with a talent for writing complex, slightly countrified melodies and a knack for rocking out. We haven't had the pleasure of seeing the band's live set yet, but based on their 2001 disc Decline of Day, when the lights go down, the fireworks go off. Backing up their boy/girl lead vocals with gritty rock and sensitive harmonizations - plus the occasional Eastern European angularity and off-kilter arrangements that recall the Throwing Muses - 20 Minute Loop proves that Bay Area rock doesn't end at the three chord mark. (PS)

Geek America Grade: A. This band is good. A while back i got something from these guys and was pretty into it. Now they've gone a lot further and have really captured their own sound. I think i originally compared them to They Might Be Giants in the sense that they've got quirky variety. Their sound now however has progressed into a more passionate sound, reminding me at times of the Pixies. The male/female vocals are a nice touch, but don't go toward that oh-so-dangerous "gimmick" side of things. I don't know if they're already like this, but 20 minute loop is totally the type of band that would get a big fanbase, but without ever going mainstream MTV. More power to you guys! Listen to this while: talking with your friends, playing independent films on mute in the background.

Impact Press (TOP PICKS: This review represents the "best of" music that was reviewed for this issue by IMPACT Press music reviewers.)

All right, fellow indie pop geeks: if you missed 20 Minute Loop's fantastic self-titled debut, now's your chance to jump on the freak-pop" bandwagon. The band's intelligent, unique pop songs recall bands such as the Pixies and X, but these comparisons only hint at what 20 Minute Loop are all about. The band's not-so-secret weapons are the dueling, boy-girl vocals of Greg Giles and Kelly Atkins. Their voices twist and turn, weaving melodies around one another, and then harmonize beautifully. What a great record; just go out and buy Decline of Day, and get your freak-pop on!

Ink 19 Billed by the press as a band similar in scope to X or The Pixies, and playing a style of music termed "freakpop," there is little in the sound of 20 Minute Loop to hearken back to those bands. Barring a superficial similarity in that both have male and female lead singers who alternate on vocals, the one band that most remind me of 20 Minute Loop is Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Both bands have an off kilter and skewed outlook, both create unique visions of the world, and both create melodies that do not fit nicely into a preconceived idea of a pop song. This is their strengths and in some cases their weaknesses.

At its best, Decline Of Day indicates what a clever band can sound like when they follow their muse and write songs they want to. There is no evidence of lack of creativity on this release, and the interplay between the singers is remarkable. In fact, it is a testament to their skill as musicians that they can create such catchy tunes and melodies when their subject matter is frequently dark. A good example is the track "All Manner," a song that on a superficial listen sounds like one of those slow ballads the youngsters listen to. On a closer listen, one realizes the narrator is singing her goodbye as she and her lover are buried alive by snow: "I must preserve you for the rest of time/Anyone who finds us later in the Spring thaw"

At other times, this unique sensibility may be a bit hard to swallow. Adjusting to the oblique pop sensibility may take some time for those accustomed to the earnest singer-songwriter variety or the brooding muses of nu-metal. Yet, an adventurous listener may find something intriguing here that rewards them.

IN MUSIC WE TRUST "Decline of Day starts off with some fuzzy guitars, bass-heavy hard-pop-rock, with girl-boy vocal interplay keeping things semi-sweet, while the rock brings it all together. Following the opener is "Moses", another semi-sweet, semi-rocking tune.

From there though, the album takes on another shape, the shape of delivering pretty, laid-back indie pop that reels you in with its soft, simmering feel rather than with a sugary hook. A pretty, melodic, spacey record that will bring together fans of harder-edged rock and indie pop; I'll give it a B." ~ by: Alex Steininger

Modern Fix San Francisco's 20 minute Loop offer up a charmingly eclectic batch of boy/girl indie pop tunes with a bit of a folky edge to 'em. Greg Giles guitar and vocal approach often recalls the more restrained end of Kurt Corbain's songwriting, but with none of the grit or angst. Cross this with aspects of Belly, Throwing Muses, the Breeders and other like-minded, female-fronted bands from the late 80's/early 90's college rock catalog and you've got a pretty good feel of the 20 Minute Loop vibe. The Pixies are an obvious reference point, but this isn't so schizophrenic and raw. Crystal clear production care of Chris Manning makes it sound a lot less "underground" than most indie kids would like, but this band sounds ready to go beyond the underground. Think a rootsier, less fragmented P.E.E. or Heavy Vegetable. Good, fairly light-hearted fun.

Noisepop 2002 Festival Guide blurb "20 Minute Loop: Alternately recalling X's first three records and the eclectic popsmithery of Pavement, 20 Minute Loop are a record geek's wet dream. Noisy, catchy, lurching into straight-forward hooks, then returning to crazed carnivalesque madness, this group offers eclecticism that rocks and then grabs you by the collar with sheer infectiousness."

Pitchfork.com "I know it, and you know it. Quirky, after many years of misuse and abuse, has become a dirty word, and an even dirtier songwriting approach. And that's simply because, to be quirky today is to try to be quirky-- to desperately seek to be off-kilter and innovative, and often, to toe some quasi-philosophical aesthetic line, with the ultimate goal of making a lasting impression on the listener's mind. Unfortunately, quirk usually comes gloved so thick in irony and contrivance as to render its core components devoid of sincerity.

Which is why I will abstain from using the word again in this review. 20 Minute Loop is one of the more refreshing musical experiences I've had in months and months. Decline of Day practically begs for stupid music review fantasy hybrid-type descriptions. So here goes: say you've got XTC. Now subtract the TC, and pair the remainder of John Doe and Exene Cervenka with J. Robbins in a six-by-six cell haunted by Frank Black's muse, with only a Radiohead CD, a Flannery O'Connor novel, and occasional visits from the members of Seely to break the psychosis.

This San Francisco quintet sounds like they should be from Georgia, not from the land of tech-sector meltdowns and hippie nostalgia shops. But then again, nothing much makes sense with 20 Minute Loop. And we don't have to travel far to prove the point. "Jubilation," the sinister carnival-pop opener, couples stomach-achy, saccharine sing-songiness with stomach-turning lyrical surrealism. It pays to quote at length: "Bracketed diamonds, billowing smoke/ A terrible heft, behind that pitchfork/ A torn up napkin, uneaten meat/ A bloody steak knife, bunions cut off the feet/ A crippled Arab, face in the street/ Searching the asphalt for her missing teeth." Yuck to the lyrics, but yum to the unbelievable melody and the slick harmonizing of Kelly Atkins and Greg Giles.

"Moses" follows, parting the Red Sea of wack, uninspired indie-pop songwriting with beautiful melodic interplay that recalls the more playful moments of Burning Airlines, only enriched with a feminine presence that was always so sorely wanting in that band's macho compositions. "All Manner" brings a solid pop hammer down on whatever reservations or resistance you might still be harboring. My favorite track, it uses mind-blowingly good harmonies and just plain pretty music to tell the creepy story of an unlucky couple's drive through the country. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and the ill-fated lovers find their car interred in a snowdrift. As their minds and heart-rates slow to a still, they contemplate their icy preservation and lament the eventuality of their bodies being discovered "later in the Spring thaw." Their dying wish: "Let us stay like this forever, once and for all." Don't roll your eyes, motherfucker.

"Daughter's Down" showcases Greg Giles' obvious affinity and talent for weird, chromatic vocal lines. Again, a melody that's damned near impossible to dislodge from your consciousness is wrapped around grotesque subject matter: this time, an incestuous father-daughter relationship. "Pilot Light" constitutes just another bomb-blast in the relentless melodic attack. The musical break in the oddly timed chorus features a mind-bending keyboard melody, and the second "chorus" (which in no way resembles the first) has Kelly Atkins sounding like the B-52's Kate Pierson.

When, you ask, does it stop? I mean, they have to foul things up eventually, right? Well, no, not quite yet. The album's title track, in a just universe, would be a pop-radio staple, and would buy these deserving characters financial security and mass adoration. But as W is wont to say, the world is full of iniquity, evil-doers and legions of poor dupes with shit taste. Nevertheless, this track is pure gold. The lyrics are all Kelly Atkins, and are arguably, in their straightforwardly way, the album's best: "I can lie here for hours while you breathe/ Indulging my doubts/ All the dreams that escape you come to me/ And burn themselves out/ I am hanging from threads that/ To the hands of the Fates/ They have dressed me in a pale jealousy/ And left me to wait/ And in the morning we won't remember/ Why we're finessing a way of keeping each other down/ We'll stay up all night/ It's force of habit/ And that's not how it ought to be."

"Mechanical Angels" is the album's last slice of perfection before sliding into merely "good" territory. It begins with lullaby-- soft-picked, guitar arpeggios that break into a chorus of inexplicable do-do-do's that out anything Frank Black has done in the past decade. The album's remaining five tracks range from memorable (the dreamy, but dirge-like "Elephant") to just okay-but-not-so-memorable (the Dumbek-adorned "Mompha Termina"). Still, even if you were to cut out the final five, the first magically good seven tracks are worth as much as the last ten releases you thought were good combined. It's been a while since I thought I could only do an album a disservice by trying to describe it. What else can I say?" ~ Camilo Arturo Leslie

Real Detroit So when I first plopped this disc in the ol'player, the first band that sprang into my head was The Pixies. This because of the quirky, jangly, and sometimes frustrated melodies & music that follow from song to song on this record. And that's a good thing. And I'm convinced it's not a contrived statement because upon further investigation into this band, others who have reviewed them have said the same (so OK, that makes it contrived). Aside from that, this record is amazingly simple and never trite. An offering of shear pop mayhem at it's finest, but in a REM sort of way. They describe themselves as 'freak pop'. I suppose that's true if in that proclamation they're assuming one's reaction to their record. 20ML members Kelly Atkins (keyboard) and Greg Giles (rhythm guitar) share lead vocals, perhaps giving them that added Pixies familiarity. An additional tidbit of trivia for this freshman release is that Chris Manning (of Jellyfish fame) produced the record, undoubtedly amplifying it's uniqueness as a whole. Best listening Experience: Jubilation, just for starters Reason to buy: Don't make me tell you to buy this man!?! ~ Mathew Hatch

San Francisco Reader (John Wells) 7/02: "...The band's second album, the recently released Decline of Day, is a massive elephant ride, charging from the pop perfection of "Jubilation" to the frenetic, guitar-driven "Mompha Termina." The quirky "Vaccine" and the spare, lilting atmosphere of "All Manner" round out this perfectly explored pop recording. On stage, 20 Minute Loop displays an exuberance that brings to mind the irascible spectacle of early Camper Van Beethoven and the explosive spontaneity of Milemarker. Erickson and Turner lay down a can't-miss groove. Giles and Ostrowski fashion a cloak of electric and acoustic guitars. And Atkins punctuates everything with her vocals and keyboards to form sounds of mesmerizing intensity. If you're distrustful of the next big thing and prefer to examine music concerned more with how it sounds than what it sounds like, check out 20 Minute Loop, a refreshing break from tired formulas."

Section M (Decline of Day) "After listening to the album a few more times , I finally determined that what separates 20 Minute Loop from the rest of Alterna-Rock mob is a tireless experimentation with each aspect of their music. From the vocals to the lyrics to the accompaniment, everything's familiar enough to be listen-able but skewed just a few inches off the map..."

SF Weekly Feature Article: "Thrown for a Loop" by Todd Dayton

Spectator (Raleigh NC ) "If you can get your brain around this, 20 Minute Loop is what might occur if The Mekons' Sally Timms were to join forces with Self. Their stylistic hopscotch (80s-style pop, rock, hardcore (un poco), country, even Zippo-waving ballads) renders each song a surprise, while always maintaining their essential 20 Minute Loop-ness. The songs are marked by dense, highly fluent, razor sharp lyrics, by complex, dynamic harmonies and melodies, and by an adamant prioritization of songcraft before elan. Any moments of dissonance are contrived through arcane phrasings rather than squalling guitars, meaning that 20 Minute Loop are a welcome diversion from the discord that informs so much current indie music. Highly recommended to fans of mid/late Pixies and the B-52s." ~ Brian Howe

Splendid E-zine "This is not the kind of record I would normally like, with its peppy boy/girl late ‘80s college rock harmonies. But damn, it’s just so good, catchy, lighthearted, well executed and fun to listen to that even my internal Leather Tuscadero is tapping her foot. This Bay Area five-piece is as poppy as poppy can be. Their sound is an updated blend of classic college rock heroes like They Might Be Giants, XTC, early REM and even the Pixies. While their overwhelming tendency is to be cute and playful, they are not entirely without sonic backbone.

"Jubilation", the album opener, is just that. It’s a hooky celebration of all things melodic and quirky. Lyrically, the song is ridiculously clever, with its references to crippled Arabs and missing teeth. The music's good-naturedness belies the warped unfairness of the song’s actual story. And the noisy electric guitar lines are dizzying, leaving us to feel not too unlike the battered protagonist of the song.

20 Minute Loop isn’t all daisy-picking and white-toothed smiles, though. They also have a firm mastery of the quiet and contemplative, as in the cryptic "Elephant". Perhaps it’s their version of "Major Tom", with a disoriented astronaut dreamily staring into the void while reporting back to Mission Control. "Aquarium", the album closer, evokes a similar sense of floating. Fortunately, the semi-hidden track at the disc's end is far more upbeat, pleasantly jarring you out of your ultra-relaxed, semi-catatonic state.

The triumph of Decline of Day is in the incredible vocal pairing of Kelly Atkins and Greg Giles. Their voices are so complementary, their duets so spot-on, that I was immediately won over to their self-described "freakpop". Maybe what’s freaky about their pop is just how good it actually is." ~ Alex Zorn

Suite 101 "Ah, San Francisco...distant, northern neighbor to my Los Angeles. But while we share the same state lines, there are more differences between the cities than you’d find between some countries. Perhaps I embellish. But the California bloodline is a difficult one to trace; taken together, San Fran and L.A. seem not so much sisters as mismatched roommates, an urban Odd Couple.

Now comes another reason for Angelenos to be covetous. The band is 20 Minute Loop, the album is Decline of Day, and they are set apart from other bands by the tandem of Greg Giles and Kelly Atkins, who share songwriting and lead vocal duties (guitarist Joe Ostrowski is also a co-writer on three songs).

The songs move through a diverse terrain, from pretty to punk, from quaint to querulous. The songs are rarely without a strong hook, but also rarely stray into pop predictability (listen for the timing; things sometimes happen before or after you think they’re “supposed” to happen).

Giles and Atkins both have a penchant for provocative and quirky lyrics, and few bandmates better complement one another at the microphone, especially when they’re singing the words of the other. The Kim Deal/Black Francis comparison has been made many times, but it’s accurate only in terms of serving as an archetype. Atkins is, judging by the credits, much more involved in the songwriting process than Deal ever was with the Pixies, and her vocal presence commands more time at the forefront.

To give an indication of what the songs are actually about, suffice it to say that Atkins is somewhat obsessed with Kali (the Hindu goddess of destruction), while Giles writes about cheerful things like an especially bad day in the life of a toothless Arab woman (“Jubilation”). And just in case they needed more ammunition for potentially dark material, apparently Giles and Atkins—perhaps not surprisingly, considering the chemistry—were involved in a now-ended romance.

To their credit, the quintet (Atkins, Giles, Ostrowski, bassist Nils Erickson and percussionist Ethan Turner) never sinks under their own macabre weight. In fact, some of the songs (“All Manner,” “Force of Habit”) are downright lovely...albeit certainly still somber. This is what is so striking about the band, that they so deftly fuse darkness with brightness, that they are able to explore the shadows and still able to celebrate life.

It would probably be possible to parse out all the ingredients of Decline of Day, but—as a whole—20 Minute Loop is successful in carving out their own niche. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging and ultimately worthwhile discs to come across my desk in 2001. Damn you, San Francisco, we wish these guys were ours. " ~ Adam McKibbin

Suite 101: The Divine Nine with 20 Minute Loop Interview with Greg and Kelly.

Tucson (Arizona) Citizen - CALENDAR 3/17/02 "Atkins' vocals set band apart". As the lone woman who rounds out an otherwise male rock band, 20 Minute Loop singer-keyboardist Kelly Atkins is used to the usual comparisons. The Pixies, Sonic Youth, even references to the B-52s pop up in review after review. "There's not a lot of boy-girl strong vocals in bands, so I think people go for a lot of easy comparisons," said Atkins, reached in Sausalito, Calif., last week. "We love the Pixies as a band, but it's not our goal to sound like them. . . . I think people, journalists, search for comparisons. One time we got compared to Barenaked Ladies and I almost threw up."

Though women have had an increased presence in rock - especially in the indie realm where 20 Minute Loop make their way - there is, still, a dearth of females who have had the lasting impact and garnered the critical acclaim of men in the genre. Part of this is due, no doubt, to male-heavy audiences, but it's also largely connected to expectations. The few who do get taken seriously, the Chrissie Hyndes, the Patti Smiths, are generally dubbed as women rockers, not just rockers. "There's actually a lot of good women out there now, but it's still a man's industry," Atkins said. "A lot of times I'll go into a club and people will assume that I'm the girlfriend." That certainly must change when Atkins hits the stage, because she is a crucial component of 20 Minute Loop's sound.

Trading vocals with guitarist Greg Giles, the juxtaposition of their textured voices blends beautifully with songs that run an eclectic gamut of pop, indie and country rock. Hailing from the fertile musical grounds of San Francisco, 20 Minute Loop makes its first Tucson appearance at Solar Culture as part of a week-long tour that sees the band in Phoenix, San Diego and L.A. The five-piece band gets out of the Bay area for a week every couple of months as Atkins, Giles and guitarist Joe Ostrowski, bassist Nils Erickson and drummer Ethan Turner gain temporary reprieve from their day jobs. (Atkins had to shut the door to her office at an audio tour company so as not to raise suspicions from "the man" as we chatted.)

20 Minute Loop began in 1998 as Giles set about making a four-song EP and asked Atkins to sing on it. The two had been introduced by producer Chris Manning's wife. "Oh, boy, it's a long story," Atkins said, laughing. "We actually ended up going out on-and-off for several years, which was really difficult for the band but, stupid or not, it has really bonded us. . . . The great thing is that we've gotten past the weirdness which I think is like a miracle and we're both totally happy with other people." And, of course, it all feeds the chemistry of the band, which is comfortable enough on its second CD, "Decline of Day" (2001, Fortune), that it can vary genres and tempos while maintaining a respectable cohesion. No one song really represents the band, making "Decline of Day" one of those albums that's most rewarding with a front-to-back listen. Just cast your male-female band expectations to the side for 58 minutes and 31 seconds." ~ by Polly Higgins

Tuscon Weekly GETTIN' LOOPY: San Francisco"s 20 Minute Loop, described by as a freak-pop act, is creepy in the best way. First there's the lyrics. Let's sample from "Jubilation", the opening track on the co-ed five-piece's latest LP, Decline of Day (2001, Fortune Records): "A torn up napkin, uneaten meat/A bloody steak knife, bunions cut off the feet/A crippled Arab, face in the street/Searching the asphalt for her missing teeth." Like I said, creepy, huh? Then there's the sound, which is nearly indescribable. The creepiness manifests itself in the same way the Pixies can scare you, but the only real sonic consistency is the complexity of the arrangements (which utilize flute, xylophone, samples and a '70s-era toy synthesizer known as the Optigan, along with the standard guitar/drums/bass configuration), rather than a particular genre. Quirky, creepy, spooky, kooky: welcome to 20 Minute Loop"s world.

Zero Magazine (Featured Band) What exactly is "freak-pop" anyway? San Francisco's 20 Minute Loop defines it as catchy, quirky, hard pounding and dynamic, yet imaginatively harmonic indie rock. That's quite a mouthful for sure. Imagine what would happen if X crashed into the Pixies and XTC to get a sense of 20ML's multi-textured sound. In 1999 20ML formed after many open-mike appearances led guitarist Greg Giles to combine with vocalist and keyboardist Kelly Atkins. The result was a group that has co-ed harmonies on every song, combining innovative songwriting with pop arrangements. Chris Manning, who produced their self-titled debut in August 2000 and has previously worked with Third Eye Blind and Santana among others, produced 20ML's new album, Decline of Day. The band has evolved into a five-piece outfit, complete with xylophones, organs, and acoustic and electric guitars, but the vocal harmonies and songs still take center stage.