The Twinemen's self-titled debut acts as both a living legacy to a long-cherished past, and a thriving testament to an unformed future. Coasting on the ethereal vocal waves of breathy chanteuse Laurie Sargent, and gilded by Dana Colley's mellow sax and Billy Conway's interpretive percussion, this release of ten compelling songs is rich in sonic texture and imagination. As the album gracefully weaves its way through familiar terrain, insinuating the murky and densely layered grooves ofMorphine (Colley and Conway's former band), it alternately embraces the fresher, more open elements of trance, blues, groove rock, jazz, and Morcheeba-like trip hop. The Twinemen bring on the hypnotic noise in "Little By Little," embark on a psychedelic journey in "Learn to Fly," and take a palpitating sojourn into literary nuance with "Harper & the Midget," the latter having been inspired by a story from Southern writer Lewis Nordan. Though reminiscent of Morphine in essence, the Twinemen's music is elastic and flowing, letting in more light than dark ("Signs of Life"). Sargent's intimate singing style is inviting rather than distancing, and having Colley and Conway share singing duties on "Golden Hour" and "Who's Gonna Sing," respectively, provides a defining contrast to the late Mark Sandman and the way he fronted Morphine before a heart attack took his life in 1999. Much like Sandman's infamous shape-shifting twinemen drawings, the Twinemen are sound-shifters. They successfully meld what has come before with what is happening right now, and musically manifest the future in all its uncertain, yet fantastic transmogrifications. This is a debut worthy of much consideration.
by Roxanne Blanford