Thursday, June 28, 2012


The opening song on the eponymous debut long-player from Island Twins imagines “
lying in state/in the Capitol rotunda”. Rather than posthumous accolades or presidential ambition, the fuzzy garage-pop of the Queens, New York trio is much more about live-in-the-moment pleasures and concerns. The band – brother and sister Erik and Meagan Brauer, guitars and bass respectively, and Tony Del Cid on drums – play a catchy, breezy alt-rock that skirts many US peers and forerunners. Think Times New Viking shorn of all the abrasive distortion or a pop version of the surf-fuzz of Wavves but with added angst-meets-elation melodies. Guided By Voices and Pavement never feel too far away.

For the most part the music is upbeat, positive, summery even when a title embraces the morbid (‘All My Friends (Are Dead)’) or a track dawdles along at a maudlin pace (‘Summer’). This is maintained when songs become more acerbic –sneering at the surf-bum poseurs in ‘Beach Sick’ or charting relationship woes – or when Brauer’s nasally vocals become too whiny. But the album never stands still and moves breathlessly onwards with its energetic versatility: ‘Heat’ has the lofi rush and girl group yearning of Vivian Girls and the echoing, pastoral psyche swirl of ‘Fighting Coast’ could come straight from the Woodsist label.

There’s a frayed, noisy clatter to the record but it never careers off the road into the no-fi noise ditch. Instead ramshackle tendencies are kept under tight rein and for a band who have been together less than a year it sounds remarkably, well, together. Island Twins may not get statues made of them just yet but a promising start on the path to civic recognition.

Island Twins Island Twins [BUY

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