Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Come I'm So Late To The Party With This Awesome Twin Peaks Album?

These cats really slipped under my radar for quite some time. But I'm now here to sing the praises of Twin Peaks and their fantastic debut album Wild Onion, out now on Grand Jury Music.

From storming Richard Hell-meets-The New York Dolls opener "I Found a Way" to the gloriously unhinged Iggy Pop-isms of "Strawberry Smoothie", it's immediately clear that these guys are the real deal.

And if you need more convincing watch this live clip from D.C.'s own WAMU and their Wilderness Bureau series of live performances.

"Mirror of Time" betrays the presence of a Beatles record or two in the boys' record collections. It's Merseybeat filtered through early Blondie and spat out in the wake of the success of The Strokes.

The Pavement-esque "Sloop Jay D" follows and it's all angular and pleasing riffs and pulsing guitar and bass hooks despite lyrics that might prevent this one from ever getting played on the radio.

"Making Breakfast" is more Richard Hell-style stuff updated to be a bit catchier and more palatable. The rough edges are still here but it's full of hooks too, ain't it?

"Strange World" slows things down for a moment of near-shoegazer goodness, while "Fade Away" charges in like one of those Kim Gordon-fronted rockers on a late period Sonic Youth album. The riffs are fantastic here. I defy you to only play this one once without immediately playing it again.

"Telephone" sounds a lot like solo Stephen Malkmus and that's a good thing. It's a concise and punchy bit of business, a lopsided melody wrapped around some cool guitar effects.

"Flavor" brings a familiar concoction of noise to play in the service of a particularly strong hook. It's one of the best cuts on this record.

"Good Lovin' is certainly not the Rascals song. It's a bit of gritty and scruffy punk like early Television as recast by Mick Jagger as a swaggering romp.

"Hold On" opens with a guitar line like something Peter Buck would have thrown down on one of the early R.E.M. records but the chords are in the service of a harmonious song closer to the type of tune Paul Westerberg of the Replacements wrote for his solo albums.

I could sit here and write about the strong points of every cut on this record. And believe me when I say this: every one of these 16 songs is a corker. Twin Peaks have produced a remarkably consistent record and fans of bands as diverse as Television, Pavement, and The Strokes should find much to love here. This is the stuff of mix-tape heaven. Put any one of these on a mix and you'll see how admirably the guys in Twin Peaks hold their own with such illustrious peers from earlier eras of rock. Wild Onion by Twin Peaks is out now on Grand Jury Music.

Follow Twin Peaks on their official Tumblr site.