Twin Peaks

Down in Heaven

Grand Jury

May 11, 2016 Issue # 57 - M83 Bookmark and Share


Long gone are the days when Twin Peaks would spend their time frantically churning out riotous garage pop in frontman Cadien Lake James' basement, when they would be championed only by a close-knit collective of DIY promoters and bands in their native Chicago. 2014's Wild Onion fell on the perked ears of global stalwarts, perhaps forcing the band to begin to take themselves much more seriouslysomething that they never intended on doing. On Down in Heaven, they ditch their loose-ended approach to songwriting and make a flinchingly poor attempt at channelling the kind of intimate commentaries that The Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society does so well.

Down in Heaven's demons lie deeply in its nature. While Twin Peaks are successful in ridding themselves of their childish anti-lyrics, it becomes apparent quite quickly that perhaps they shouldn't have turned their hand to reflective songwriting so soon after all. Atop the seemingly harmless surf jangle of "Cold Lips," Clay Frankel sleazily croons, "You keep wasting all my time acting cold/You oughta get yourself a shiny gold medal/For being the coldest bitch I know." It's hard to get away from the condescending sense of male entitlement put across so carelessly by a band supposedly coming of age. The '60s archetypal rock and roll that they use as the blueprint for these 13 tracks is lovingly crafted. "Walk to the One You Love" recalls the chirpy strut of early Beatles with a newfound conviction and "You Don't" teases the kind of absorbing thoughtfulness that the band no doubt wanted this record to demonstrate in its entirety. The sad truth, though, is that Twin Peaks have a lot of growing up to do before they can effectively direct their narratives inward. This just comes off as clumsy and premature. (www.music.twinpeaksdudes.com)

Author rating: 3.5/10

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