Reviewing bands in their early stages is a dangerous game. As demonstrated by Rolling Stone’s 1969 review of the “weak” and “monotonous” Led Zeppelin I, grandiose predictions of a band’s surefire success or inevitable failure don’t always come true. Fortunately for Brighton-based newcomers TWIN and for yours truly, TWIN (I) is neither weak nor monotonous. And I plan to stand by that opinion regardless of how rock fans of the future treat this band.
So to hell with tomorrow’s fans – TWIN (I) exists today as a balancing act in the best sense: lyrics equal parts clever and poetic, clean guitar scuffed up with just enough feedback, four minute-plus songs that refuse to overstay their welcome. “Big Dog’s Man Cave” showcases the dual nature of the four-piece at its best, inhabiting a tattered dreamscape between the lyrical gloom of Arctic Monkeys’ “505” and the powerful melodies of The Horrors circa Skying. Only album closer “Take The Bus Home” loses itself in its own fray, though not enough to deny the EP a solid finale.
At every turn, drummer Arthur Peters emerges as TWIN’s secret weapon. His tight, tireless rhythms are so inseparable from the melodies of his bandmates that it takes a moment to realize his individual talent. While subtle is hardly the operative word – he bangs away with masterful abandon on “Spellbound” – Peters never errs on the side of flashy. This rare combination of power and control makes Peters worth watching.
Don’t take that the wrong way: the other three members of TWIN are terrific musicians, and all four partake in an undeniable chemistry that makes the flawed mixing easy to forgive. The back half stumbles over its own production, namely when the vocals get entangled in the loudness of the guitar. But who can stay mad with songwriting this good?
Only time will tell if TWIN(I) achieves immortality alongside Led Zeppelin I. For now, it’s an impressive debut from a band with some serious musical muscle. Future legends or otherwise, let’s hope they flex it again soon.