The Lemon Twigs

Do Hollywood

4AD

Nov 08, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The Lemon Twigs (aka brothers Brian and Michael D'Addario) are looking poignantly backwards while moving gracefully forward on their debut record: a love letter to the past and a signpost towards the future. Do Hollywood is a unique and kaleidoscopic trip through sound and melody with a profound nostalgia, yet somehow fractionally distilled into something quite startling.

Much is made of the D'Addario brothers' precocious ages (19 and 17) but we've had musicians with youth and startling talent beforethat is not new. What is new is the way that as composers, they have a quite astonishing and highly-tuned pop ear for channelling the likes of Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Scott Walker, Jeff Lynne, and Ray Davies into a world of color, exploration, and barnstorming joy. They never rest on their laurels for one secondfrom the opening theatrical bars of "I Wanna Prove to You" they take a journey down into Pet Sounds slow-burn introspection before raising the heat again to bring the song to the boil. "Those Days is Comin' Soon" suddenly breaks into a marching band stomp and throughout the record there are so many moments of head-scratching "how on Earth did they think that up" which on first lesson can sound disconcerting but on second listen, the ideas begin to coalesce and the sheer color of the music pours forth with a profound joy. Just listen to the magnificent closing tumult of "These Words" and consider the intelligence held within the structure. Aside from The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt and The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, it's difficult to think of anyone making music like this these days; certainly not two kids barely out of school. Astonishing.

There are occasional caveats to this gleeful experimentation. "As Long as We're Together" doesn't hold together enough to justify its extended run-time and there are times towards the second half of the album where the rapid changes start to jar, and where you feel a more experienced and sage hand on the tiller could have brought more of the overall song-structure to the surface. But to curtail this experimentation would be to suppress the eclectic joy and wonderful teenage enthusiasm brought to the proceedings here. With one foot in the present and one foot in the past, The Lemon Twigs have produced one of the most striking, individual, and colorful debuts of the year. The potential for this band is something truly exhilarating to behold. The future's bright. The future's lemon. (www.thelemontwigs.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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