Pitchfork: "If the sentiments are tough, the music itself is tender, borrowing from Belle & Sebastian and Brill Building pop to create a sound that is both pastoral and urbane, straightforward yet sophisticated... Whatever their inspiration may have been, the 1900s have turned their romantic misgivings into confident, catchy, and deceptively cheery pop."
The Hundos say: "More than anything we've done before, Return of the Century is a true representation of each members' creativity and ability. With virtually no outside help, aside from drummers, we feel the record is a pure, concise distillation of the 1900s sound, taking away the unnecessary grandiosity and leaving only that parts that are most important, while capturing performances that are more immediate and natural than ever. It's a deeply weird and idiosyncratic album that can't neatly be compared to our previous work. It's also a concept record of sorts, but we like to leave those details to the imagination."
Having shelved the romantic drama and shed two founding members, The 1900s seized the opportunity to update the core elements of their sound. While maintaining the strong songwriting and vocal arrangements the band is known for, The 1900s’ second full-length, Return of the Century, finds the newly energized band shedding some of its retro grandeur in favor of furiously tight rhythms, faster tempos, shorter arrangements, and simplified hook-driven melodies.
Blending the pristine quality of high end recording studios with the rawness of un-finessed home recordings, the album presents eleven solid tracks that hit hard and stay with you. The dual perspectives provided by alternating lead singers present a subtle narrative which guides listeners through the veiled, yet omnipresent themes running through the album.
In addition to an album and an EP for Parasol Records, The 1900s have toured across America and into Canada, providing support for The Vaselines, Iron & Wine, Midlake, The New Pornographers, Black Mountain, Ted Leo, British Sea Power and Belle & Sebastian's Stevie Jackson. The band has appeared at Lollapalooza, CMJ, SXSW, and Portland's MFNW music festivals and is a regular musical guest at Chicago's legendary IO comedy club.