Twin Peaks' music bleeds good times. They’re the hometown band that many a Chicagoan probably heard of, if not listened to. And if that's not the case, TheseDays is here to change that. No band out of Chicago in recent memory has created such waves on the national circuit, and there’s none that I can think of that stir up such a delicious stew of wide ranging rock ingredients; garage rock, punk, blues, pop, classic. Best of all, this isn’t half-hearted throwback music. It’s all there, and it’s all Twin Peaks.
Many a writer have touched on the shared name with David Lynch’s tweaked-out mystery classic, and interestingly enough the band has mentioned that the name’s allocation has been to their benefit, steering ambiguous google searches and unintentional publicity their way. But me, I’m taking the not-so-famed Chicago strip club angle. More consistent with their old-school-rock-cool, although they say the name was random. As somebody who no longer avidly follows the rock / band circuit in or out of Chicago, I lack the proper references and comparisons I would normally overuse when describing Twin Peaks' music, so here’s a simpler way of putting it:
Twin Peaks rocks. Well, yes, they play rock, straight-forward enough. But more importantly, they rock. You will notice, not a lot of rock bands rock anymore. A disturbing trend, but thankfully one Twin Peaks is bucking. Their singer Cadien James' vocals are elastic, sometimes throwing out a strangled yell that any fan of punk has to love, an animalistic voice practically bursting at the seams to get to his audience. There’s the guitar of Clay Frankel, which alternates between an acoustic classic sound and riffs that rip through your eardrums. Then there are the no-less important instrumentals from the rest of the band; from drummer Conner Borondt, bassist Jack Dolan and Keyboardist Colin Croom, all providing an airy dynamism, giving just the right push of energy in all the right places. Their skill is critical, since each song is tight as a snare. No foot-dragging, no loose ends, and you can hear the importance that each member has to each song.
They hail from Chicago are tied to Chicago music regardless of genre, whether it's Chicago rap (lead singer suspended with Chance during the events of #10Day, Twin Peaks contributed to Hurt Everybody’s 2K47 with “Before The War”), or the local Chicago rock scene (helped in navigating the DIY waters by local groups such as The Funs, The Orwells and White Mystery). It’s in this beautiful quagmire of Midwestern music that Twin Peaks has cut their teeth, and any music fan here should be proud to share a home with them. They’ve dropped two studio albums. The first, Sunken, debuted on Los Angeles record label Autumn Tone Records in 2013. The second, Wild Onion (after Chicago's Native American name) was released to hoards of critical acclaim on Grand Jury Records in New York City in 2014. Twin Peaks had a quiet 2015 in terms of releases, but they stayed busy with a national tour with Los Angeles punk-ish band Wavves. If you didn't go to the home-town show at the Vic, you only need to know one thing; Twin Peaks stole it. And it's not clear what 2016 holds for them, but I would anticipate more live shows, more music, and more energy.
Twin Peaks has a nitty gritty appeal that you don’t get enough in rock anymore. It’s beer and cig music at its core in a Pitchfork world, and coming up at just the right time as rock bands continue moving on the downswing of the relevance parabola. But as long as there are groups like Twin Peaks, throwing caution in the wind and simply letting the notes shred, people will be listening.