Twin Peaks provides a breath of fresh air
In an era dominated by fast-paced electronic music and filtered vocals, Twin Peaks’ latest album hits the airwaves with the lively vibrancy of a summer sunset. Fusing a sound from folk, post-punk, classic rock, silky synthesizers and just a twinge of country twang, listening to Lookout Low is like taking a brisk walk down memory lane.
Laced with love songs and the high-spirited howls of youth, bandmates Cadien James (lead vocals, guitar), Clay Frankel (vocals, guitar), Jack Dolan (vocals, bass), Colin Croom (keyboards, vocals, guitar) and Connor Brodner (drums) create a technically impressive, yet frequently forgetful, collection of songs. While their work is uncommonly well-rehearsed and close to perfection in instrumental synchronicity, one feels that instead of being innovative, the band is singing love songs to their favorite inspirational artists. If one listens closely, they can hear the echoes of the Strokes, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Pink Floyd and even a flash of Bob Dylan reverberating from the speakers.
Lookout Low begins with a synthesis of synthesizers and the warm clap of conga drums. The album’s opening song “Casey’s Groove,” catches the ear with a clean and clear electric guitar partnered with the post-punk crooning of Cadien James. Like a young tame Billie Joe Armstrong, James describes the changing of the season and the teleology of trying. When you come around to listening for “Casey’s Groove” you’ll be glad you came.
While the rest of the songs showcase the band’s inarguable technical talent and ability to incorporate diverse genres into their music, the songs themselves still seem to miss a quality of memorability. The tracks lack a definitive biting edge that leaves a lasting impression of the group’s sonic persona. That is not to degrade the detailed and often excellent drum work from Brodner, or the impassioned voice via James partnered with the melodious keystrokes of Croom. After finishing Lookout Low, one gets the feeling that Twin Peaks still needs to fine-tune their unique sound. When they do, their audience will be grateful for what they’ve found.