Aquarium Drunkard Presents: Twin Peaks

Late Show

Aquarium Drunkard Presents: Twin Peaks

WRITER

Wed, October 2, 2013

Doors: 9:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

Twin Peaks - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Twin Peaks
Don't bother asking Twin Peaks about the deeper meaning of their band name. They simply thought it sounded cool, which explains why their second album Wild Onion (out August 5th on The Grand Jury) isn’t as spooky or surreal as David Lynch's short-lived TV show. It's more like a modern day Nuggets, with Ty Segall, Black Lips and Thee Oh Sees curating instead of Lenny Kaye. Not literally, of course. But the spirit of those ga-rage demigods is alive and well alongside subtle nods to everything from the Pixies and Tame Impala to the godfathers of guitar-guided pop music, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys.

If combining the influence of so many classic artists seems like a lofty goal for a group of 20 year olds, just remember that Twin Peaks' core quartet—frontman Cadien Lake James, guitarist Clay Frankel, bassist Jack Dolan and drummer Connor Brodner—has roots that reach back to elementary school. And while their friendships were forged long ago, James also learned the ins and outs of the local Chicago scene with his last pro-ject: Teenage Dream, a minimal-yet-mean duo with his older brother Hal.

"We played our first show when I was a freshman," says Cadien, "and of the three peo-ple who came out, one was Alex White of White Mystery. She loved it. Alex has taught me a lot about being business smart and taking things slow, about being grateful and expressing thanks where due, and about being a gracious musician. The generosity of all the bands in the scene out here is pretty amazing.”

The only problem? Hal was asked to join the Smith Westerns, and since Cadien didn't want to go the solo route, he found the perfect outlet in Twin Peaks. Having quickly cut their debut LP, 2013’s Sunken, so they could sell it on tour, the band was excited to spend more time developing Wild Onion, a record that reveals a level of maturity be-yond all the amp-singeing solos, ragtag rhythms and dizzying voices of three distinct singer-songwriters. Unlike acts who let their egos get in the way, Cadien, Clay and Jack share the spotlight and play to one another's strengths as Connor keeps things moving with a steady beat.

So while it's hard to tell who's screaming what sometimes, the album's overall vibe couldn't be more cohesive, whether it's expressed through sun-kissed psych ("Mirror of Time," "Strange World"), crowd-riling choruses ("Making Breakfast," "Good Lovin'") or hooks that take just seconds to sink in (“Flavor,” “I Found a New Way," “Strawberry Smoothie"). Step back for a minute and you'll also notice that everyone's facing the cold, hard realities of life head-on, whether it's relationships, the death of a family member, or getting used to the fact that three-fourths of the band (Cadien, Jack and Connor) left a school they loved (Evergreen State College) to pursue the crushed barriers, rushed stages and tireless recording sessions of Twin Peaks fulltime.

"The album deals with a lot of insecurities that arise when you’re growing up," explains Cadien, "It's about adopting them and being vulnerable to let out the tunes. It ain't ideal, but it's sublime."

Or as Jack adds when asked about a song he wrote (the rise above anthem "Fade Away"), "It's about looking at life and smashing it in the face until you break your hand. I hope you play this during your most epic of battles on this world."
WRITER - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
WRITER
WRITER's James and Andy Ralph are brothers, and if you couldn't see it in their faces, you'll see it written all over them, sometimes even literally. The two share a tattoo—the words "Brothers Ralph" surrounding an anchor, like two sailors navigating the same sea—but you can also hear their brotherhood all over their music. Andy's voice cascades and careens around and across James' almost impossibly hard floor tom hits, and when the two join together to shout a chorus or a particularly important lyric on their album Brotherface, the two create a sound that's much more than two boys playing songs together.

The songs on Brotherface are a unique combination of anthemic and psychedelic; not meandering, definitely structured, but also bubbling and swirling with layers of sound that seem far more complicated than what two guys can make standing alone on a stage. The aquarium-sound of "Miss Mermaid" makes love into a slow swim, while the energetic gallop and brisk harmonies of "Cash For Gold" call to mind the feeling of driving across and empty expanse of highway with your friends late at night, shouting into the dark just to hear your own voice.

After extensive touring, the pair will be self-releasing a first pressing of Brotherface in October, writing new songs, and preparing to set off on yet another tour in the fall. They're also continuing to settle in to New York City, and watching their sound change as they continue to write. "The sound keeps getting fuzzier," Andy says, adding, "which both of us are into." And surely if the past has been any indication, the two are right, as brother music is always better than music made alone.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com