Liam Kenny and Joel Carey of Peak Twins claim their band got its start when they were jamming late one night while they were drunk, and in the best possible way that's just the way the Australian duo's first album sounds. Peak Twins sounds and feels loose and casual, but with a real sense of focus, as if Kenny and Carey know just what they're shooting for and how to get it, even if they're a little loopy and tired at the moment. The pace on Peak Twins is deliberate, and the arrangements are spare, dominated by the droning strum of Kenny's guitars and the slightly dour but resonant vocals from Carey, with drums and occasional keys and backing vocals drifting over the horizon when the song calls for it, and the effect is lazy but powerful. Peak Twins sounds too clean to be lo-fi and too modest to be shoegaze, but there are elements of both styles audible in these songs, given the purposefully simple approach of the melodies and performances, and the way the minimalist guitar figures build into something massive on "Divine Nature." Ultimately, this is a splendid example of the sort of record that works best at 2 a.m., but for all its sparse and occasionally sloppy surfaces, Kenny and Carey really make this stuff work, largely because the songs are honestly good, the musicians give them the respect they deserve, and Carey's vocals are genuinely moving in an unforced way, especially on their cover of Fred Neil's "Dolphins." Peak Twins is the sound of a pair of like minds stumbling upon one another and coming up with something unexpectedly marvelous under unlikely circumstances; the only thing more miraculous than the fact this happened so spontaneously is that they were able to re-create it in a recording studio this well.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming