Reviews Videos

New TWINS Record Wears Power Pop Heart On Its Sleeve

TWINS have been flying the power pop flag proud and high from their home base in central Iowa for several years now. On every album, they have invoked the history of their genre–from Alex Chilton and Chris Bell in the early 1970s, to ’80s alternative forebears The Replacements, to the ’90s revivalism of bands like the Posies and Teenage Fanclub. While showing all your cards can be risky, TWINS draws on these inspirations in proper amounts and combinations to create something original and true to the voice(s) of the group.

On their third full-length, “Square America,” TWINS trade some of their ’60s pop punch for ’70s guitar crunch. From the riffing to the title, lead track “Hot Stepper” is the sound of a band adding some Humble Pie to their Big Star. On “Don’t Wanna Talk,” you get a boogie riff melded to power pop hooks. And rockers “I Came For Candy” and “Schoolboys ‘N Luv” make some heavy nods to Thin Lizzy.

Elsewhere, the pop foundation remains evident. “Mary’s Sister Margaret,” with its chiming 12-string picking, is a return to the lighter feel of earlier TWINS recordings. Big Star influences shine bright on “Feels So Good,” which sounds like an outtake from “#1 Record.” “Everything Blue” is a beautiful near-ballad, accentuated by Nathan Emerson’s tasteful pedal steel work; and the brief, melodic 12-string guitar solo on “Breakin’ Up” is just the sort of thing that elevates an already catchy tune. Lap steel is also used to great effect on “Lovesick Romeo,” a straight up rocker that benefits from the unlikely choice of instrumentation, Emerson’s playing complementing the song.

The lyrics encapsulate the requisite concerns of power pop: teenagers and love. Sometimes, as in “Mary’s Sister Margaret,” the immediacy of teenage crushes and romantic conflict takes center stage. Other songs reflect the maturity accrued through time, reflecting a more patient, experienced love. In a world of ironic detachment and nihilist memes, TWINS wear their hearts on their sleeves, and rock ‘n’ roll is better for it.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply