As their sophomore album kicks off, with the charging “I Found A New Way”, Chicago’s Twin Peaks ignite hope rock ‘n’ roll has found itself a new and extremely adequate conveyor. There’s some impressive punk to those first couple of songs, as well as a bit of swagger that almost suggests Mick Jagger.
It’s not long before Wild Onion backpedals into something more out of mid-90s rock, though, and this includes their use of more pop driven melodies and occasional kooky beats. Twin Peaks likes to refer to this as “heavy pop” on their Facebook page, and I couldn’t agree more. Every time this album starts to veer a little too close to pop music, the singer begins shrieking again and the instruments drop their sound low. Heavy pop it is.
This definitely works for the band, especially in songs like “Making Breakfast”, which reminded me of Elvis Costello with a more pompous attitude. There’s also “Sweet Thing”, a song that casually pleads for love and is probably just interested in a one-night stand, anyways. It’s a guarantee that night will be a good time, though.
Twin Peaks step into weirder territory with “Strange World” and “Ordinary People”, both of which feel unnecessary to the album, and out of place with the rest of their rockin’ tunes. The former ties together with “Stranger World”, two tracks later, but it still ends up sounding like a poor attempt to branch out of their style and into something more artistic. Why would you wanna do such a thing when you’re still working to establish what exactly you are? “Ordinary People” is much in the same – while it does show the band is willing to overstep their style boundaries, they don’t seem to have the capabilities just yet to effectively do so.
My opinion is that they should stick to what they’re great at for now – howling, glam-based rock – and hone it into something completely their own. In the meantime I commend Twin Peaks for Wild Onion, which is definitely a pretty irresistible album, and for creating something that fully strays from the David Lynch-esque sound I nervously anticipated it would be.
Stay tuned for this week’s playlist (comes out Sunday, September 7th), which will feature a track off the newest from Twin Peaks!