Dylan's Music Blog September
To head off this year’s album review blog from me, I wanted to review some classic 60s nostalgia with a modern twist, and The Lemon Twigs have really revealed themselves to be one of the best 60s revivalist bands of the 2010s, as well as some of the greatest musical minds of our generation.
The Lemon Twigs released their first major studio album in 2016, Do Hollywood, lead by two young brothers, Michael and Brian D’Addario. More recently, they’ve released their sophomore album Go To School, which is actually a concept rock-musical, and it is a complex mixture of pop rock and “show tunes” (admittedly, I wanted to review this album this week, but it’s being as a whole is far too long to finish reviewing in one week. A review of that album will be up in the coming weeks, watch WRFT’s social media for updates on that.
In between these two albums, though, was an EP, titled Brothers Of Destruction, which is a 6 tracked masterpiece of sonic goodness, and all of these tracks are cuts from the Twigs previous album, Do Hollywood. So without further ado, here is my review of:
Brothers Of Destruction
In this follow up to the debut Do Hollywood, the Lemon Twigs follow the format of an intermittent release between two albums in order to satisfy fan’s unconscious decision to forget about a band between their releases(though I certainly never forgot about them). This release mimics the sound of the previous album, with twangy, synthesizer filled instrumentals, and stacked, warm vocal harmonies, much like if the Beatles and Queen had a beautiful music brain-child.
The album starts with an odd, slow, unfinished sounding intro, which feels a bit out of place, but ties in with a similarly modular “Why Didn’t You Say That?”. This track screams 60s. With fantastically beautiful harmonies and humming bass, “Why Didn’t you Say That?” embodies everything the Twigs are and is a fantastic start to the EP.
This leads straight into the third song, “So Fine”, which is reminiscent of a Kinks-esque sound, as well as maybe a Brian Jones era Rolling Stones vibe.
“Beautiful”, a stripped down version of the Twigs classic melodies, features a softly singing Brian D’Addario, which is both beautiful and haunting. The lyrics “I can’t do anything, I am nothing. Our lives are meaningless, Swim in the Sunshine,” strike a surprisingly light and bright tone, despite the dark undertones of the song. This track I find myself singing along with in the car a lot. A lot.
“Night Song”, featuring the blown-out vocals the Twigs usually bring to the table, leads to a frantic, urgent, intoxicating mix of cowbell, guitar, and synth, featuring the classic dark undertones of the Lemon Twigs song writing.
“Light and Love”, the final track of the album, features almost three distinct songs in itself. The first, a completely acapella version of a many-parted harmony by the Lemon Twigs, shines one of their best qualities in its simplicity. The second features Michael D’Addario singing with a backup track and a ukulele, which gives a Hawaiian, tropical vibe to the middle portion. In the third part, a sappy, emotional Brian D’Addario belts out a high vibrato to create a truly heart wrenching melody, which almost makes you feel his pain and relief in finding his “you” in the song.
Overall, this EP is a fantastic effort filled piece of “cut-offs”, but all of these tracks are worthy of an album inclusion. If you’re a fan of 60s and early 70s rock and prog, this album is definitely worth a listen. Clocking over just 18 minutes, it’s definitely worth listening to to brighten your drive home from work or school. In a world of constant music releases, the Lemon Twigs have caught my attention for over a year with this one. Tune into 91.5 WRFT for a full EP listen through this Wednesday from 1:45-2:25 for my Vinyl Side Wednesdays show.
10/11 Dylan Shmeckles