Reviews

Don’t worry: Music still means everything

I’m sure y’all have been extremely worried about the state of music, seeing as how I haven’t been updating you much lately, but never fear: music is still everything. I’ve just been super busy learning the ins and outs of website development, and it’s eating up almost every minute of my spare time. Of course, every other minute belongs to whiskey, and while I’ve wanted to share some of those whiskey-soaked ramblings via the blog, something in my subconscious said no. So my apologies for not publishing any blogs at all these past few weeks.

In hopes of making it up, here’s a rundown of all that’s mattering to me musically right now…

First off, there’s a ton of good albums that were recently dropped, and the three I haven’t been able to stop listening to are Will Butler’s Policy, Courtney Barnett’s official debut Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, and Strangers to Ourselves, the awesome latest from Modest Mouse.

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Butler’s was a decent surprise, especially since I’ve always assumed his brother Win, whom Will shares the stage with in Arcade Fire, was the more talented of the two. Little did I know Will collaborated with Owen Pallett on the Oscar-nominated score for Her last year, nor that he was cool enough to record the exceptional Policy in just one week at Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios. Sure, it’s a short album, with just 8 tracks, but there’s plenty of deliciousness packed in there – consider it 27 minutes of smart and playful ventures into indie alt rock and dancing jazz.

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As for Barnett, I can’t stress enough how badly you need to check out this chick’s vivacious music, which veers effortlessly from bouncy to solemn, all the while backed by her monotonous yet powerful vocals. She’s an outstanding songwriter, to boot, and when you’re not busy dancing around the kitchen to her mostly upbeat music you’re probably left standing there trying to wrap your brain around all the brilliance she spews with her lyrics.

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Then there’s Modest Mouse’s newest masterpiece, an album that declares they still give zero fucks about what the rest of music is doing – they’re here to make what they think you should be listening to. Strangers to Ourselves has some rad Man Man-esque moments, not to mention impressive elaboration of the style they founded when they were born 20+ years ago. It seems every one of their albums does a mashup of sounds found on all previous recordings as well as an exploration of new sounds piquing their interest these days. It’s definitely an appropriately rockin’ release.

Another band with new music, but no set release date for their record, is the eternally cool Ratatat, the electronic dance duo near and dear to my heart. They floored me with their set at my second Sasquatch!, and I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to 2010’s LP4 a thousand times since. It seems ridiculous they haven’t released a proper full-length in five years, but word is they’re currently recording their next, and it’s of course tentatively titled LP5. They gave a taste of what’s to come during their set at last weekend’s Coachella, with “Cream on Chrome”, and it’s funky and tropical and heavy in all the right places. I love it to pieces. And cannot wait for this next record.



With that I’d like to thank Coachella, cuz while I’d never in a million years travel to Indio and rub shoulders with hipsters and rich kids, I really appreciate their willingness to stream sets from the festival. It was terrific to see Tame Impala’s set via the stream, because I’ve loved them for a long time, yet have never gotten a chance to see them live. If you know me, you’ve probably heard me complain at least 5 or 6 times about that year I was supposed to see them at Sasquatch! but they couldn’t make it due to baggage issues at London’s Heathrow Airport. Well, their set at Coachella looked and sounded fabulous, even though they didn’t play my favorite, “Half Full Glass of Wine”. Instead they crushed “Elephant”, which included an outrageously short but super rad drum solo, and encouraged the crowd to check out fellow Aussies AC/DC by playing a sweet riff from “Thunderstruck” and declaring “I’ve been waiting my whole fucking life to see AC/DC”. Adorable. Now I’ve gotta get to watching the stream from what I’ve heard was a badass performance from Azealia Banks, as well as that for Run the Jewels, because Run the Jewels.

And to wrap up, a bit of bad news: work responsibilities are likely gonna leave me unable to go to Sasquatch! this year. Now, while I’m overwhelmingly devastated about this, I’ve at least got a good bunch of friends that will be attending and can relay all the crazy awesomeness the 2015 Sasquatch! provided. So stay tuned next month for a breakdown on all the bands performing this year, and reasons why it’s gonna be jaw-dropping. I’m so very bummed I won’t be there for it, but *sigh* there’s always next year~

An ode to the big booty connoisseur

Oh, Sir Mix-A-Lot. Your arrival into the musical history books, with 1992’s timeless masterpiece “Baby Got Back”, marked the first time I felt it necessary to hide what I was listening to from my parents. My sneaky 10-year-old self procured the cassette single from the mall while Mom wasn’t lookin’, then made sure to blare it out of my speakers at home only while the parents were away.

The irony is that I didn’t even know what the song was all about – I just thought it was hilarious someone was making tons of money and getting all sorts of famous simply because he liked big butts. There were curse words in there, though, and that’s the only reason I thought I should keep my folks from hearing it, lest they snatch it away and ground me or something.

As years passed I was always a little astonished at how “Baby Got Back” never got old. All it took were those infamous catty remarks, “Oh my god, Becky – look at her butt,” before anyone anywhere would burst into song and loudly proclaim the words “my anaconda don’t want nothin’ less you got buns, hun”.

That’s why it’s somewhat sad Sir Mix-A-Lot never got another major hit like it. Yet here we are, 23 years later, still appreciating that song every time it comes on the radio. You can imagine my hyped level of excitement, however, when I learned the Seattle-based musician would be coming to town to perform on none other than Valentine’s Day, with my friend and her band LoveBomb Go-Go opening for him!

It was definitely a curious line-up for V Day at Dante’s, as there was LoveBomb Go-Go, best described as an intergalactic marching band (they seriously are the best – they were a huge hit at Burning Man ’14, and you have got to check out one of their shows sometime!), and Smoochknob, who come off mostly like a power pop-metal group from 1998. I wasn’t too impressed with the latter of the openers, who mostly centered their show around the half-naked dancers they bring with them, but I knew Sir Mix-A-Lot would make up for it. And for the most part, he did.

Sure, the MC seemed a bit sad and tired at the beginning of his set, with a look on his face that seemed to mutter, “Here we go again,” but two or three songs in, he definitely perked up. Sir Mix-A-Lot and his “crew”, which featured a guy spinning beats and two gentlemen backing him up on his rap game, sashayed their way through a bunch of songs I’d never heard, then brought in oldies but goodies “My Hooptie” and “Posse On Broadway”, which really got the crowd amped up. There was also a spot-on throwback with The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache (Jump On It)”, which the Sir modified to throw in shout-outs to Portland, and the Blazers.

And then the eagerly awaited time had come…sadly, there was no replication of the song’s legendary spoken intro (truly, I had hoped and prayed there would be two snarky chicks onstage to recreate the song’s opening, but alas…my dreams fell short), but as soon as Sir Mix-A-Lot began rapping along to “Baby Got Back”, the crowd went wild. It’s likely anyone in downtown Portland that night was capable of hearing the hundreds of people jammed into Dante’s, loudly singing along to the epic ballad.

To no one’s surprise, ladies got asked to join the melee onstage midway through, and shake what mama gave ’em, and it felt like a solid wrap-up to the Valentine’s Day extravaganza. The only real disappointment was Sir Mix-A-Lot’s choice to remix the song a bit toward its end, which you can see below. And apologies for the short but sweet clip – I was too busy shaking my booty, as instructed, to get fully adequate footage.

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2

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Grade: A+

It’s good enough Killer Mike and El-P are at it again as Run the Jewels, but it’s clear they’re so much more than just back in the game with their sophomore album. From start to finish Run the Jewels 2 breaks all the rules and accomplishes things unheard of because neither Mike nor El refuse to be meek.

Both have become brazenly good at delivering raps that are parts autobiographical and socially aware. They also get vulgar at times, but that’s the last thing that matters when listening to a Run the Jewels album – there’s too much good stuff going on to get hung up on something as trivial as that. In fact, it’s best if you plug your headphones in to hear this record for the first time, to catch all that’s happening. A lot of genius is at work in this 39 minutes of unskippable music, and it’s heavily layered with irresistible beats.

But if you wanna talk vulgar, let’s talk about the brilliance of “Love Again (Akinyele Back)”. While the song might offend with its frequent reference of putting his “dick in her mouth all day”, it’s former Three 6 Mafia virtuoso Gangsta Boo that flips the script midway through and turns the track into one for the ladies. Especially when she steps in and says, “That’s what ya want, huh? Well lemme tell ya a little story” and proceeds on with a wonderful tale about sexin’ with a boy she turned into a “motherfuckin’ man”.

The guest appearances are thundering throughout: there’s Blink 182’s Travis Barker, flat out crushing the drums on “All Due Respect”, not to mention ZACK DE LA ROCHA rapping poetic on “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)”. That last one is chill-inducing, with de la Rocha announcing “I’m miles ahead of you” as he rips savagely into each word just as he’s always done. It only complements him further that the song surrounding his verses is full of electro hip hop meets short burts of rock bass riffs.

Much of RTJ2 comes off as a party album, especially with spectacular tracks such as “Blockbuster Night Part 1”. With a rad backbeat chugging along, Mike defiantly tells it like it is: “murder mayhem melodic music”. There’s also plenty of EDM’esque sounds infiltrating the album, as well, and it amplifies the party appeal to nearly untouched levels.

It’s not all a party, though, as the beats darken with the lyrics for “Lie Cheat Steal” or “Crown”. The latter is a tale Mike shares of his sordid past, when he once dealt cocaine to a pregnant woman, and the music chosen for it is perfect: slow, with a commanding beat, and occasional inclusion of gospel sounds.

All told, this is easily one of the best albums of the year, and the duo behind it have broken lots of ground putting it together. It’ll be super exciting to see what’s ahead for Run the Jewels, because the back and forth between El-P and Killer Mike is as impressive as I’ve seen with Outkast. Obviously Big Boi and André 3000 have uniquely defined individualities when they rap together, and RTJ doesn’t have that just yet, but that shouldn’t discredit how well they work together. Especially since they’re already establishing profound identities with their work.

Maybe one of the most fantastic attributes the duo has so far is their confidence in what they’re doing, which is shown in just the first few minutes of their second album. Mike proclaims “history (is) being made” with this recording, and El-P explains Run the Jewels is the answer. To what? Everything, obviously.

New band you’ll probably like: Absolutely Free

Naming yourself after a favorite Frank Zappa album lends some definite connotation to your sound, and what you’re all about. But the beauty in Toronto’s Absolutely Free comes in hearing their self-titled debut album, released this week via Lefse Records, and understanding these guys are much more than just stoned out Zappa fans. No, this is clearly a very talented foursome we’re dealing with, and they appear they have much to say with their often tranquilizing psychedelia.

This group got a solid start together with indie punk five-piece DD/MM/YYYY, who broke up in 2011, after 10 years together. Following the split four members reconnected as Absolutely Free and went on to release the 12″ singles of “UFO”/”Glass Tassle” in 2012 and “On The Beach”/”Clothed Woman, Sitting” in 2013. On the latter of these, both singles exceed 7 minutes in length, and “Clothed Woman, Sitting” goes back and forth between a walk through the park and a headlong spiral into squealing oblivion.

Now we have the band’s official debut on our hands, and it’s pretty lovely, partly in that fellow Canadian Mike Haliechuk, of Fucked Up, produced it. I was really drawn to “Beneath the Air”, which you can listen to, below, because it reminds me of The Chemical Brothers hit “Let Forever Be”, from 1997’s Surrender, a song I considered one of the best of the ’90s. The rest of the new album goes in several different directions, but together it’s a really complete piece of work that offers emotions of every kind. Absolutely Free draw electro dance comparisons to fellow Canadians Caribou, but they also have an appealing indie pop feel to them, as well as a more morose alt rock sound. They are from from a band that can be sandwiched into just one genre definition, and that suits me just fine.

The 2 Bears – The Night Is Young

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Grade: B+

Hot Chip, in all their electrofied glory, are just plain awesome, and that’s all there is to it. Thankfully the members of this UK group have launched into other side projects to spread their talent, and this includes The 2 Bears, a wonderful duo of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and DJ/producer Raf Rundell. Somehow I missed their 2012 debut Be Strong (check out the hilarious “Bear Hug” from that one, as soon as you can), but Pitchfork currently happens to be streaming their upcoming album, The Night Is Young, before it is released on Fatboy Slim’s label Southern Fried on October 13th.

It’s a great LP, one that frequently hints at old school house music and thrums along with the catchiest of melodies. It occasionally feels like the type of album no one else is doing right now, maybe because everyone else is trying to push forward with the way they write their dance music. That is how it should be, but the way The 2 Bears stop and pay homage to retro sounds, while carving them into something funky and new, is fun as hell.

The duo spent some time in South Africa last year, taking part in a project put together by the magazine Live, and songs “Money Man” and “Son of the Sun” were recorded while there. Goddard and Rundell collaborated with local singers Sbussio and Kwaito icon Senyaka for these songs, and they definitely have a retro reggae feel to them. Not my favorites on the album, but props to The 2 Bears for paying respect to UK’s dance music past with a couple of songs that have got both a bouncy rhythm and a political edge. “Son of the Sun” also does have a couple of really great moments, including some solid rap delivery.

It’s songs like “Angel (Touch Me)”, “Not This Time” and “See You” that really do it for me, though, and it’s unashamedly because it reminds me of UK pop house beats from my high school years. All three of them are also extremely catchy, and place Rundell’s smooth and nicely accented vocals at the forefront. Get a perfect look at, and listen of, what I’m talking about in The 2 Bears fantastic, drag-based video for “Not This Time” below:

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Jimi Hendrix biopic: fact or fiction?

After years of speculation and months of anxious waiting, I finally got to see Jimi: All Is by My Side, a film based on the year leading up to Jimi Hendrix’s arrival as a guitar god. It was almost as wonderful and spot-on and mesmerizing as I hoped it to be, but it definitely had a few things going for it I was not a fan of.

On one hand, André Benjamin, AKA Outkast’s André 3000, was absolutely mind-blowing in his performance as Hendrix. He mastered the lyrical, soft-spoken demeanor the guitarist was so well-known for, and it was easy to forget it was an actor on the screen, not the man himself.

Benjamin also had terrific co-stars, notably Imogen Poots, who told a great story with her interpretation of Linda Keith, former girlfriend of Keith Richards who was key in getting Hendrix to London in 1966.

Something that really bothered me, however, was the dramatization of the relationship between Hendrix and his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, whom he met almost immediately after landing in London. Real life tells of how the two lived together until they split in ’69, and how she was his muse for the songs “Foxey Lady” and “Wind Cries Mary”, but the movie paints their love as rocky and full of jealousy. Spoiler alert, but there are scenes in the film that depict Hendrix beating Etchingham in the face with a phone, as well as fighting with her in an alley. I was furious when these played out on the screen because I’ve done a lot of research on my most favorite musician of all time, and I’d never once come across accounts of Hendrix being an abuser, let alone anything less than a really good guy.

And so I spent much of the movie wondering if director John Ridley, executive producer of 12 Years A Slave, had unearthed hidden, ugly truths of the guitarist, and I couldn’t wrap my head around it. So many years had passed since Hendrix died in 1970, and it seemed questionable such a blaring fact of his had remained undisclosed until now.

As soon as I got home I began scouring the Internet, and my answer popped up with one Google search – it appears the movie does have some inaccuracies.  Etchingham speaks of how she was never interviewed by the filmmakers, and after learning of the abuse scenes, insisted they were not true. Apparently they responded by saying it was, because they had “thoroughly researched” it. Now, the only place it is written that Hendrix was a violent, abusive man was in Curtis Knight’s Jimi: An intimate biography of Jimi Hendrix, a book the author later revealed he’d never interviewed Etchingham for, or confirmed all the details of. So that’s what they consider thorough research? Pulling from a story not proven to be legit? Not cool.

Another disappointment was the lack of actual Hendrix music in the movie, but that’s not all on the filmmakers – the Hendrix estate refused to allow any of his songs be used in All Is by My Side.  The reasoning is unclear, but it’s likely because his sister Janie has been working on a biopic of her own, which she’ll be including Jimi’s music in. So we’ll just see what becomes of that pending project.

All in all, despite the movie’s major errors, I found All Is by My Side engaging as hell and designed in almost the perfect way to tell of this snapshot in time.  Great use of cinematography, as well as random inclusions of all the Brit rock stars Jimi blew away when he came on the scene. And again, hats off to Benjamin, who clearly put a lot of work into capturing every mannerism and personality quirk the legendary guitarist possessed.

Just in case you’re still trying to decide if you should go see the film (which is ridiculous. Go see it.), take a look at this trailer, which I’m sure will make up your mind for you:

Royal Blood – Royal Blood

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Grade: B+

Rock ‘n’ roll has reached an age where it gets tougher and tougher to decide whether it’s a “problem” when a new band “copies” the greats. UK’s Royal Blood is an interesting case study in this matter because the duo has turned to rock bands from within the last 10-15 years for their inspiration, rather than digging deep for influence from, say, The Kinks, or The Who.

What they’ve created with their debut full-length comes off sounding like a stockpile of the styles and beats the likes of Wolfmother and Jack White have established as their own in the oughts. That’s not to fully discredit this new album, however, because approval should be laid at Royal Blood’s feet for the mere quality of the music they’ve put together for their first recording. It’s encouraging to know drummer Ben Thatcher and bassist/singer Mike Kerr wrote this entire album all on their own. And it’s not like they straight ripped off another band’s album – there are bits and pieces in there that feel solely Royal Blood, and hint this duo may impress the hell out of us with new material over the next few years.

‘Til that time has come there are plenty of tracks on their self-titled worth spending some time with. “Figure It Out” is just plain fantastic, with the guitar chugging along until it gets the cymbal ting and drum beat it was looking for, while Kerr flaunts a sexy and swaggering ‘tude to match the tune perfectly. The song is complete with the necessary dose of ballsy riffage that plumps it up toward the end.

Royal Blood also treats love just as any rockin’ outfit should, putting up a front and faking indifference toward it. “Blood Hands”, which features almost metal undertones of rhythm, fits this bill nicely, while “You Can Be So Cruel” actually lets it guard down over the woman, and surrounds itself with haughty beats to try and disguise its hurt feelings.

Then there’s “Loose Change”, which sounds like Jack White is actually guesting, vocally, on the track. It’s got more of that dark rhythm to it, however, which doesn’t quite fit with the idea of a White song, and that’s to Royal Blood’s advantage. If they want to keep borrowing ideas from their recent forefathers, they have got to at least toss them up with music scraps of their own.

We’ll see what these Brits can put together on their next few albums, but for now, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. They’ve got powerful friends in Arctic Monkeys, who share management with them under Wildlife Entertainment. AM were the first to bring Royal Blood’s name to the table, as their drummer wore an RB shirt while they played Glastonbury in 2013. Fast forward a year, and Royal Blood plays Glastonbury. Sometimes it really is all about who you know, but for this new duo, it looks like it will end up being about how good they are at what they do.

Ty Segall – Manipulator

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Grade: A

This time around, Ty Segall decided to slow down and actually take some time to make a record. So instead of following his usual break-neck speed routine, Segall spent almost a year writing and recording Manipulator, and of course it paid off. The album is by far his most polished and satisfyingly vivacious work to date.

Don’t mistake the idea of polished to mean Segall’s latest is soft, or conservatively constructed. There’s still plenty of erratic shift in style and sound in almost every song on there, and the number of surprise riffs featured are enough to make you feel like a kid at Christmas.

Manipulator, which shuffles its way through British Invasion rock to the early days of heavy metal and glittery glam, is also nice and hook-heavy, leaving its catchy tunes bopping around in your mind for days.

This is especially true for its title track, which Segall just released an interactive video for this week. Directed by Matt Yoka, who Segall met while the two were freshmen at the University of California, “Manipulator” allows its viewers to assemble Segall’s surroundings to their liking as the video plays out. While watching you can even change the channel on the TV in the singer’s bedroom, and the fact that Timothy Leary is an option on the screen further perpetuates the psychedelic nature of the vibrant video.

There’s also “The Faker”, an assuredly rockin’ number that almost hints at early Queens of the Stone Age. And don’t skip the sonic charm of “It’s Over” and “Susie Thumb”, both featuring strong instrument breaks made up of the sexiest in drum vs. guitar battles.

On the more mellow side is the album’s closer, “Stick Around”, a track that feels a slight evolution from Segall’s last solo effort, the acoustic-driven Sleeper. The track is made up of precise riffage backed by piano, and lyrics such as “Well come on/come on down/yeah stick around/we are here/let’s make a sound/you know we gonna stick around”. Yes, yes you are, Segall. We couldn’t be happier for it.

It’s exciting to add this this jewel of an album to my always growing Segall collection, and it seems the doors are wide open for his next move. Maybe his extremely prolific personality will kick back in and we’ll get three or more greats from him in the next couple years. For now, I’ll just remain deeply content with the rewarding enormity of Manipulator.

In the meantime, watch below as Segall and his devoted backup band of Mikal Cronin (bass), Emily Rose Epstein (drums) and Charles Mootheart (guitar) slay “Feel” during their performance on Conan last month:

Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

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Grade: A

In 2011 Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett released the fantastic EP I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris, then began her own label, Milk! Records, in 2012. The following year she would release the equally terrific How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose EP and would smartly decide to combine her first two EPs into The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas. Somehow, someway, I knew nothing of these magical releases until about three weeks ago. Better late than never, I guess, because Barnett’s brilliant lyricism and instrumentation have renewed my faith in the songwriting of today.

The first half of the double EP is comprised of the six tracks from How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose, and it reveals Barnett to be the aloof and melancholic songstress that she is. So many of the songs come off as rambling tales, delivered in a whimsically deadpan way that absolutely calls Dylan to mind. Maybe the best of these is “Avant Gardener”, which starts off as the retelling of her Monday, and slowly detours off into directions only Barnett can probably understand, with lyrics like “Anaphylactic and super hypocondriactic/should’ve stayed in bed today”. Also attractive to the song is that while its lovely rhythm remains the same for much of its duration, squawking guitar nicely breaks up the monotony midway through.

Another great one from the first half of the album comes in “History Eraser”, a barroom tune full of lyrics just as wonderful as the drums/guitar/piano behind them. Barnett sings lovingly of being drunk in love: “We drank green margaritas/danced with sweet senoritas/and we all went home as winners of a kind.”

Then there’s “Anonymous Club”, which has Barnett’s voice at its highest, most expressive octave, and “Canned Tomatoes (Whole)”, which also offers a more melodious version of her pipes. Both songs are wonderful alternates to the slightly woozy level her voice takes on in most songs, but that’s not saying Barnett ever sounds unsatisfactory on this release. No, no – she almost always sounds entrancing.

It’s especially appealing that the two EPs segue seamlessly into each other. The I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris segment of the double EP does feel a little more lighthearted, but it’s still as exciting and rousing as the first half. It also features some tasty instrumentation, particularly in the beautiful interplay between the guitar and piano of “Porcelain”.

And so I’m really excited for future material from Barnett, and cannot wait to catch her when she comes to my neck of the woods this fall. Be sure to check her out if she ends up touring near you!

Hear “Are You Looking After Yourself” on this week’s playlist.

Twin Peaks – Wild Onion

 

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Grade: B

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!