Twin Peaks - Wild Onion
by Matt Hacke
“Will Twin Peaks be my new favorite band?” I ask myself as I sit down to cover Wild Onion, ominously described as ‘new age’ on my iTunes. I’ve never heard of the band before, or maybe I had but got them confused with Twin Atlantic – needless to say, this is a jump into the unknown for me.
Therefore, I’ll give you some information on the band as I expect that, like me, you might not have heard of them. If you have, and are now scolding me for being so ignorant, please skip to the next paragraph as there won’t be anything you don’t already know here. Anyway, Twin Peaks are a Chicago four-piece with a very Google-unfriendly name. There’s a chain of restaurants and an American TV show that take precedence before you find their site on page 3. On closer inspection they seem to be connoisseurs of glam-rock and power-pop, with a few recent releases to their name, such as the Flavor EP, which was good enough to merit a write up in The Guardian as their New Band of the Week back in May. Other than that… well, I’m clutching at straws to be honest, as information on them is scarce online. Let’s move on to reviewing the record.
Wild Onion is sixteen tracks long, but pleasingly each of these songs only last for around two minutes meaning my attention was kept with ease. I Found A New Way opens the album, sounding like a cross between Girls and The Vaselines with an extremely agitated singer. Not really ‘glam’ or ‘new-age’ at all, far closer to that surfer-rock trend that has been extremely prevalent in American Indie for the last 20 years or so. However, Strawberry Smoothie is more in keeping with the buzzwords used to describe the band online, packing quite a punch compared to the previous. Still, I’d hardly call Twin Peaks ‘new-age.’
Overall, Making Breakfast is the standout track from the album’s opening barrage, with the lead vocals and interspersed backing yelps interlocking extremely well during the refrain. Fade Away is also rather good, the instrumentation sounding a bit like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club if they replaced their sickly layer of angst with more decent guitar solos. I should point out, if you haven’t already realised, that some of the song titles are pretty odd. Yet despite this, the sound itself is recognisable and easy to listen to.
Twin Peaks are at their best when they allow their tracks to canter at a quick tempo. Correspondingly, the slower interludes can sound a bit dodgy. Strange World can seem a bit of a slog despite its brevity, whilst Stranger World, which comes a few tracks later, has a rather self-indulgent saxophone lead. However, with both tracks cumulatively adding up to just over three minutes, these black marks are mercifully insignificant overall.
To answer the question posited at the top, Twin Peaks haven’t dislodged Kasabian as my favorite band, yet they’re definitely well worth a listen. Wild Onion is a giddy piece, juddering along nicely for the entirety, with a decent tail end to supplement an effective opening. If you’re at a loss for new music at the moment, I recommend checking the band out as, unless you have an insurmountable hatred for Flange guitar or nasal singing, they’ll probably be something for you to enjoy. A solid effort and one that deserves to do well over the next few months.