Twin Peaks

Wild Onion

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Twin Peaks sound like a cross between a band and a youth gang on their debut album, Wild Onion. The quartet of 19-year-olds plays with all the abandon and energy of a bunch of kids on the last day of school; half the songs sound like they were written and recorded as the bandmembers charged down the steps after the last bell. Vocals are enthusiastically ragged and rowdy, drums are bashed as much as played, the guitars meld together wildly like streams of water in a super-soaker fight. Taking inspiration from rockers like Jay Reatard and Ty Segall, as well as old-timers like the Strokes, the band whips up a frenzied and infectious sound, full of vigor and fun, that's impossible to ignore. Some of the tracks even have swagger ("Telephone") and punch ("Strawberry Smoothie") enough to be hit singles. Not that they will, but that doesn't stop Twin Peaks from strutting it like they were already stars. A full album of songs that bounce and play like a basket full of drunk puppies might be a bit much, though, so it's good that there's another side to the band. Songs like "Mirror of Time" and the dreamlike "Strange World" show a tender-and-quiet side that works just as well as their more rough-and-tumble side. These tracks prove they have the melodic skills to pull off ballads, and that they can show some restraint when they need to. Another factor in making the record more than a one-dimensional beer blast is the care the band (as well as co-producers R. Andrew Humphrey and Colin Croom) puts into the sound, making sure to change up the way the guitars and drums are recorded, fill out the arrangements with keys and the occasional woodwind, and basically make sure the record hits like an anvil dropped from a seven-story window, instead of a tinny little reverb-ruined thing that makes no impact at all. Wild Onion makes a huge impact from beginning to end, and serves notice to all the bands out there who think they are playing rock & roll the way it should be played that there are some new kids on the scene who can show them a thing or ten.

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