Tag Archives: indie rock

Show Review: Cherry Glazerr Takes Over the Crocodile

This past Wednesday at the Crocodile saw Cherry Glazerr come through, touring in support of their sophomore LP, Apocalipstick, along with fellow Angelenos Slow Hollows.  The dingy Crocodile Cafe was a good fit for the night, especially for the headliner, with Clem Creevy feeding off the dirty energy of the place with some dirty energy of her own.  The show promised to be energetic, eccentric, and distinctly feminine, and it delivered on all accounts in spades.

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Openers Slow Hollows started things off in a quiet, contemplative mood.  Merging some twinkly guitar leads of the current emo wave with a very post-punk feel, the quintet did a great job as the opener: they were a very well put together act, but they hardly tried to steal the show.  The five college boys stood mostly still on stage, with an energy that was very understated but quietly snuck up on you.  The guys from Slow Hollow may almost look asleep from time to time, but if you let it lull you to sleep then you’ll get shaken awake by some very sneaky musical climaxes.  Standout tracks from the set were “Luxury of Lull” and “Last Dance” from their 2016 album, Romantic.

Though from the same city of origin, Slow Hollows could hardly be more different from Cherry Glazerr.  After the openers left the stage, crew members and some of the headlining band came out to set up their equipment.  And their stage decorations.  Which I didn’t really notice until right before they stepped onto the stage.  Which were vaginas.

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This set a clear tone for the rest of the set: this is a show by women, for women.  Not to say non-women couldn’t enjoy the show, but it was clear from the start that this was a female show.  So when frontwoman Clem Creevy introduced a song with “This song is about period blood and being on your period, and that’s awesome!” I wasn’t really all that surprised.  This is a band that has never shied away from its femininity, and they weren’t about to start now.

The set started weird and ended weird.  With her bassist, drummer, and synth player all onstage, awaiting her arrival, Creevy came out swinging.  Literally.  She swayed on stage in the middle of a wall of noise, swaying wildly and flailing her arms in all directions.  And thus began the set.  A healthy mix of old and new, the show was a very good one.  Creevy made sure to acknowledge her grungy influences from Apocalipstick (the encore was a cover of Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings,” which also served to energize the hell out of the Seattleite crowd), and also made sure that those influences didn’t ruin the garage-rockiness of some of previous work.  “Grilled Cheese” and “Trick or Treat Dancefloor” fit perfectly along with newcomers “Told You I’d Be with the Guys” and “Only Kid on the Block”.  And all the while, Creevy and bandmate Sasami Ashworth injected a bit of light humor into the set with their banter between songs.

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Overall, I thought the show was very satisfying.  Slow Hollows were a very good, very lowkey opener, who set the stage perfectly for Cherry Glazerr’s jagged vocals and sharp riffs to cut through straight to the audience.  If I heard these two were touring together again, I’d snap up my tickets early.

John Morse

Slow Hollows on Bandcamp

Cherry Glazerr’s Website

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Live Review: Car Seat Headrest

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Last weekend I had the chance to see indie rock band Car Seat Headrest, perform live at the Neptune Theatre in what was probably one of my favorite shows I have attended. I’ve been kind of obsessed with this band for most of the year, so finally getting to see them live was a pretty great experience. They were touring in support of their latest album Teens of Denial, definitely one of my favorite albums of the year so far.

The show kicked off after a strong performance by opening band The Domestics, a group I was not familiar with until this concert. Car Seat Headrest then opened with a short Leonard Cohen cover, before kicking the show off with the popular lead track “Fill in the Blank” from their newest album. This was when you could feel the audience really get excited; the level of audience engagement at this show was high, particularly in the front, where many of the people around me were singing along passionately.

The band played many other recent songs including “Vincent” and “Destroyed by Hippie Powers,” as well as older songs such as “Maud Gone” and “Sober to Death,” skillfully mixing different points in their discography. The Teens of Denial tracks stood out especially good live, although I was expecting them to be played, so the older songs were a nice surprise. “Maud Gone” was particularly nice to hear as I was not expecting that song to be played, and it also provided a brief respite of calm among the more high-tempo rock songs surrounding it on the setlist. The audience gave a particularly loud cheer when front-man Will Toledo announced they would be playing a song from Twin Fantasy, probably the most popular of their early albums. The band also experimented with a shortened version of “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” which was reworked in preparation for an upcoming TV performance. Guitarist Ethan Ives’ guitar skills really shone through live, and Will Toledo’s vocal performance was excellent. 

The most enjoyable songs live, in my opinion, were “Strangers” from their 2015 album Teens of Style (a re-recording of an earlier release), and the encore in which the band was joined by Naked Days for covers of “Psycho Killer” and “This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads, which they brought impressive energy to, and closed off the show on a high note. Overall, it was a great performance and a strong end to the tour.

Car Seat Headrest: Bandcamp / Twitter

Photo Credit: Kevin Tosh

-Noah Prince

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Artist Profile: American Wrestlers

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American Wrestlers is a relatively new band, having formed in Missouri in 2014. The band began as the solo act of Gary McClure, originally from Scotland, and a member of the British indie band Working For a Nuclear Free City. He initially released the band’s first album, self-titled American Wrestlers, for free on Bandcamp. After the band began gaining popularity on the internet, American Wrestlers was re-released by Fat Possum Records in 2015. Following this, McClure assembled a full band, with Bridgette Imperial on keyboard, Josh Van Hoorebeke on drums, and Ian Reitz on bass. They have a new album out, Goodbye Terrible Youth, just recently released on November 4th. 

American Wrestlers’ music employs a classic indie rock sound that should be familiar to any fans of the genre. While their debut had a more lo-fi sound, as is typical of home recordings, with fuzzy, distorted guitar, their new album has a cleaner, bigger sound, with jangly guitars and catchy riffs. The band’s newer songs are faster and louder than those on American Wrestlers, as the band’s sound evolves, yet they retain the same quality songwriting that drew attention to them in the beginning. As their first album as a full band, Goodbye Terrible Youth shows a lot of promise, and hopefully marks the beginning of a strong career.  

Recommended for fans of: Working For a Nuclear Free City, Yuck

Key tracks: “There’s No One Crying Over Me Either,” “Real People,” ”Give Up,” “I Can Do No Wrong”

Soundcloud / Bandcamp / Twitter

-Noah Prince

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Artist Profile: And The Kids

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Back in March, I decided to accompany my friends to the Ra Ra Riot show at Neumos on a whim. Arriving after 9, I expected the opening acts to be finishing up their sets, but the first band, And The Kids, was just taking the stage. Normally, I’d honestly be a little pissed that a concert would be going so much later than I expected on a school night. This time was different. I’d never been to a show where I ended up liking the opener more than the headliner until that night, when I experienced the girl-power rock majesty that is And the Kids. 

Hailing from Northampton, Mass., the trio consists of singer and guitarist Hannah Mohan, drummer Becca Lasaponaro, and bassist Taliana Katz. The three members combine their talents to form upbeat, catchy, riffy rock jams with just the right amount of pop. Their debut album, Turn To Each Other, released last year, is packed with one catchy song after the next. Mohan’s vocals, ranging from deep and heavy to light and breathy while always staying packed with some great folk-y vibrato, frequently intertwine with countermelodies in songs like “Cats Were Born” and “All Day All Night” to produce layered and interesting tracks that are sing-alongable in more ways than one. A spot on Ra Ra Riot’s tour, opening alongside PWR BTTM, as well as an NPR Tiny Desk session, put the group on the map. They’re also embarking on a small tour with Vundabar (unfortunately, Seattle isn’t on the list of stops).

The group is gearing up to release their second studio album, Friends Share Lovers (which drops early June), performing some of the new songs on tour and, more recently, at their new Audiotree Live Session:

The band’s new material definitely seems to building on its strengths of writing great riffs and interlocking melodies (especially in “I Can’t Tell What the Time is Telling Me” and new single “Friends Share Lovers”). The group also does a great job of transferring the energy of their music to the stage (with a little help from an inflatable deer…you’ll see what I mean if you ever have the pleasure of going to a show).

If one thing’s for sure, it’s that you’ll have at least some of And The Kids’s material stuck in your head all day after you listen to a few songs. The band’s perfect combination of catchy lyrics, danceability, and just the right amount of shred shot them right to the top of my long list of current favorite artists. Also, who doesn’t need more all-girl rock in their life? No one. Bottom line: just check ‘em out. You owe it to yourself.

For fans of: Chastity Belt, Tacocat, Cherry Glazerr

Notable Tracks: “Secret Makeout Factory”, “Wiser”, “Cats Were Born”, “I Can’t Tell What the Time is Telling Me”

Bandcamp // Twitter // Instagram

-Ann Evans

Live Review: Wild Nothing Sells Out The Crocodile

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As I meandered down to Belltown on Monday night to see Wild Nothing at The Crocodile, my groggy self was beginning to wonder if I had made a good call. Looking like a total dork in my Nocturne-era Wild Nothing t-shirt, there I was, hungry, tired, and putting off a whole lot of homework to be there. It was already past 9, the opener, Whitney, hadn’t come on yet, and I had a 9:30 the next day. I stood for a good 30 minutes, alone, having a pity party for one, until I did what you are probably telling me to do now: I decided to suck it up because ROCK AND ROLL AIN’T FOR QUITTERS!!!

As soon as the music started flowing, though, I really stopped giving a damn about my 9:30.

Whitney opened with upbeat, folksy tunes that were definite toe-tappers. Songs ranged from a Bob Dylan cover to anthems with catchy horn riffs a la San Fermin. After they left the stage, the venue really started to get packed with trendy thirtysomethings, many of whom looked like Amazon employees or something smart like that (I swear to God, the guy standing behind me looked JUST LIKE Jeff Bezos. I swear!!). The Monday night show was a sellout, and I could sense early on that Seattle was anxious for some good ol’ dream-rock action.

Here’s the part where I have to tell you that I don’t have any good pictures. I’m sorry. I really tried. But what’s a girl to do when the under-21 section is, like, 5 shoulders wide and a 6’3” lumberjack-type with a beanie sitting on top of a pile of frizzy hair stands in front of her? Take really shitty snapchats that you don’t want to see here, that’s for sure. I’m sad about this too, friends. Wild Nothing is one of my favorite bands ever. But it’s all about the EXPERIENCE, remember?

Jack Tatum, the man behind the project, swiftly walked on with his band, and the small yet crowded venue howled. After the first song of the set ended, someone yelled out “Hey, whatcha drinkin’?”, to which Tatum playfully answered “Why, Rainier!”, posing with can in hand. The crowd erupted in laughter (maybe aggressively so?) at the venue-appropriate beverage, setting the tone for the rest of the night as one of camaraderie, foolishness, and all-around good vibes. Throughout the impressively long set, Tatum played off of the crowd’s energy and heckling as he got progressively more tipsy and progressively more comfortable jamming out (I was especially impressed with this, since they had already played a live session at KEXP earlier that day. I’ve seen a lot of artists in the past who are a little tuckered out playing twice in a row). After a few songs, the band decided to continue the set with whatever songs they wanted. At the end of “Lady Blue”, Tatum insisted on playing his favorite “shred” at the end of the song again, because it wasn’t quite right the first time. Unsurprisingly, the crowd went wild, myself included.

The energy of the crowd and band made this show. It felt intimate and casual, and Tatum was noticeably comfortable goofing around while also delivering a long set with all the hits, new and old. I found myself laughing at the onstage antics more than at any other show I had been to. After the band left the stage, it only took a couple minutes for them to come back on for the encore. The quality of the music was equally phenomenal. The synth and guitar lines the artist is known for shone through in all the right places. The live renditions of a few of my all-time favorite songs, “Only Heather” and “Summer Holiday”, were truly life-changing, if I do say so myself. I rode home in the Uber regretfully looking at the clock, regretfully looking at the red stain on my t-shirt from the wrist stamp, but most of all, regretfully realizing that the show was over (that was really sappy but really true, okay??).

At one point during the show, Tatum slightly-slurred something along the lines of “If this show had a Yelp review, I’d rate it 15 stars on a scale of 1 to 10.” I’d have to agree.

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Ann Evans



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

EP Review: Hippo Campus – South

With brisk fall in full swing and ominous winter slowly approaching, sometimes a summery song can be the perfect pick-me-up. Unless you’re like me and just like to wallow in the gloomy majestic cloud cover and misty rain that is the majority of Seattle’s colder seasons. Anyway, if that first scenario applies to you, or you just really need some new tunes, then Hippo Campus’s recently released EP South might just be your little miracle.

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Although this band hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, they definitely have a west coast kinda vibe with their beachy, colorful guitar riffs, and just overall indie sound. Vocalist Jake Luppen isn’t afraid to explore the vast spectrum of his vocal range, and although some of the lyrics tend to get a little too repetitive for my taste, overall the songs successfully give off a feeling that’s like driving down the California coast at sunset in a convertible with your sickest sunglasses on. If you haven’t had the chance to experience that feeling, then just take my word for it that it’s pretty awesome.

The song “South” quite clearly stands out as the focal point of the EP, and that makes sense because the two share the same name after all. However, I think my favorite track has to be “Violet” because I just adore the way Hippo Campus takes there time building up the energy in the song. Not to mention the catchy chorus is great too. Without fail every time I’m 1 minute and 13 seconds into it I just feel like dancing and jumping around the dorm doing all my favorite nerdy dance moves (even if my roommate disapproves).

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#sorrynotsorry Between the song’s rises and falls in tempo, you have the perfect mix of excitement and relaxation all rolled into one catchy tune that is sure to get you off the couch and doing something with your day. Also, the way the ending just fades into a dreamy send off leaves you perfectly at ease with how hard you just rocked out. Go on, give it a listen and let me know what you think. 

Pretty good, am I right? Anyway, if you haven’t heard Hippo Campus’s first EP titled Bashful Creatures, which contains popular tracks such as “Suicide Saturday” and “Little Grace” (and were too lazy to click on the video links I kindly provided for you above) then I guess I could compare their sound to bands like The Griswolds, Wild Party, and maybe even Young the Giant. If you haven’t heard of any of those guys either, then just stop reading right now and go listen to all of them. Seriously. You won’t regret it.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Notable Tracks: “South”, “Violet”, “The Halocline”

The Band’s Website: http://hippocampusband.com/

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Addison Simon

Artist Alert: The Front Bottoms

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Looking for some new music that gives you the feels? Stop right there! You should be listening to The Front Bottoms. Blending acoustic and electric guitar, horns, and keys, the New Jersey band is hard to place in a genre. Whether you call them folk-punk, indie rock, or emo, their unique sound is hard to forget. Their weird, wordy lyrics tell interesting–and often funny–stories that pull at the heartstrings.

I was first introduced to this band by my friend last year on a long car ride(thanks David!). The first song I heard was “Flashlight” off the band’s self-titled junior album album. One of their most popular songs, “Flashlight,” includes a trumpet and the usual piercing, sometimes shaky vocals from frontman Brian Sella. My first thought: “What am I listening to?!” The quirky sound and lyrics were completely unexpected.

Fast-forward to this year when I saw The Front Bottoms live at the intimate venue, Chop Suey. It was a ton of fun. The room quickly turned into a mosh pit and a lot of the crowd knew the words to every song; security had a rough time trying to get people to stop crowd surfing. I was especially struck by how talented the members of the band are. Ciaran O’Donnell plays keyboard, trumpet, and guitar. Tom Warren, the bassist, played a booming solo and Mat Uychich killed on drums.

As if they were trying to separate the real fans from the people who don’t get them, The Front Bottoms subjected us to a reading on Calcite(a type of rock–the geological kind) before playing their encore. It was pretty funny when the audience screamed, “Yeah Calcite!” and applauded like it was just another song. If you ever get a chance to see them live, GO!

The Front Bottoms played some songs off their new album, Back on Top(2015). It’s notably different in style than their past records; much of the acoustic guitar is replaced with an electric one. I don’t like Back on Top as much as The Front Bottoms’ older stuff, but there are some gems. “2YL” is one of the band’s most optimistic songs. In addition to the electric guitar, there are some fun horns and keys to add variety. Sella’s voice, although more smoothed out on this record, retains some of the awkward charm which originally drew me to the band.

The Front Bottoms should never be taken too seriously–don’t expect to get too many heavy songs from them. Brian Sella has even been quoted as saying that he classifies what he does as “a funny joke.” I would argue that the band is better than they seem to give themselves credit for. Fusing together multiple genres and writing some crazy lyrics, they’re original. Looking at how their albums have changed over the years, the band is also clearly evolving.

Enjoy this live studio version of “Skeleton” off of Talon of the Hawk(2013)! And don’t forget to check out The Front Bottoms’ website for more of their music and links to other social media.

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Claire Marvet



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Album Review: Foxing – Dealer

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Moving. That’s the word that comes to mind upon listening to
Dealer, the second full-length album from
St. Louis’s Foxing. The band had a lot
of hype to live up to after making a strong debut with 2014’s The Albatross, and this new record
delivers in every way imaginable. I won’t hesitate to call it my favorite album
of 2015.

This record is moving in a couple of different ways. The
lyrics, which are nothing short of fantastic, will move the listener
emotionally. Vocalist Conor Murphy and
bassist Josh Coll pull no punches,
diving headfirst into a number of difficult and uncomfortable topics throughout
Dealer. The lead single from the
album, “The Magdalene”, explores the antagonistic relationship between the
teachings of Catholicism and sex. “Indica” is perhaps the most heart wrenching
song on the record, as it details Coll’s personal struggles with PTSD stemming
from his time spent serving in Afghanistan. Lines like “[and] it breaks my mother’s heart to know
I came back broken” are brutally cathartic.

The music is just as moving as the lyrical content. The
songwriting here is top notch. Foxing have clearly mastered the art of
post-rock crescendos. Tracks like “Weave” and “Eiffel” take the listener on a
journey, eventually building up to goose bump-inducing climaxes.

The musicianship is tight too. Foxing’s rhythm section keeps
songs like “Laundered” grooving along. The guitar-work on Dealer is particularly interesting. On many songs you might not
even notice it, as the guitars sort of hide in the background building texture
instead of sitting in the forefront. You can hear this, as well as some
beautiful piano, on “Night Channels”, my personal favorite song off the record.

I’d say the biggest improvement over The
Albatross
is the vocals. Murphy demonstrates much more control, as he
strains far less on this record. He nails some beautiful falsettos throughout
the album too, like on “Glass Coughs”. The male/female harmonies on songs like “Redwoods”
are just killer.

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Dealer is an
incredible album. Check it out if you’re into post-rock, emo, or indie rock. It’s
emotionally draining, and I mean that in the best possible way. Foxing are
currently co-headlining a US tour with The
World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
and are being
supported by English math-rockers TTNG.

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RJ Morgan



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Album Review: The Neighbourhood – Wiped Out!

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Verdict:
6.5/10

“Sweater
Weather” propelled The Neighbourhood
to sudden stardom back in 2013. They’ve come a long way since then.

Almost indignantly, they
refuse to be bound by any one genre. Who’d have thought that “those Sweater
Weather guys” would go on to drop a mixtape hosted by DJ Drama? That too, with
a long list of features that included French Montana, YG, Danny Brown, and OG
Maco
. Bitch you didn’t guess it.

Wiped
Out!
,
The Neighbourhood’s follow up effort to their hit and miss debut album is
somewhat impressive, if only because it’s less hit and miss than its
predecessor. They’re making progress.

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This album is truly of
its time. Ever wondered what it would sound like if The Weeknd made surf rock?
Wonder no more. Elements of R&B, rock, and a little hip hop are all melded
together to create a unique, contemporary sound.

The lyrical content,
however, seems neglected. Wiped Out!’s
lyrics suffer from a pervading sense of blandness. Not a lot stands out.

One of
the exceptions to that rule is “Daddy Issues”, a touching song about front man Jesse Rutherford’s relationship
with his dead dad. Although it does take some unexpected turns: “I love that
you got daddy issues/And I do too” and “I know that you got daddy issues/And if
you were my little girl/I’d do whatever I could do.”

The first track on this
album is just 30 seconds of silence. Well played, Neighbourhood. Well played. The
second track, “Prey”, is merely so-so. But stick around and the six songs that
follow make the album worth listening to. The album then tapers off, with the
last three tracks bringing nothing noteworthy to the table.

“Cry Baby” is a great
track, with its swinging bass and tropical notes.
“The Beach” is another
stand out track, the pain in Rutherford’s voice palpable. Watch out, because
emotions will be evoked. “Greetings from Califournia” sounds exactly how a song
that namedrops California should—wavy and chill.  

Most impressive is the experimental
innovation on this album. The psychedelic segues on some of the tracks are the
album’s best moments. In particular, the instrumental transformations on title
track “Wiped Out!” and “Baby Came Home 2/Valentines”.

The experimentation
backfires on “Ferrari”, however, a song that just doesn’t work. Industrial
cacophony.

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It seems
like The Neighbourhood have finally found a sound they can stick with. But no one can really predict what direction they’ll
head in next. And that’s the one of the best things about them.

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Pranav Shivanna



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

An Ode to Twin Peaks

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When you first hear the words Twin Peaks,” David Lynch’s 90s TV series investigating the murder of Laura Palmer might come to mind. Or maybe you think of the landmark identical hills in San Francisco.

Up until recently, whenever anyone said “Twin Peaks,” those were the two things that came to my mind. Then a couple months ago, my friend told me to check out an up-and-coming garage rock band that he claimed were “underrated.”

So I did. And ever since, whenever I hear “Twin Peaks,” I think of the dreamy four piece that stole my heart in mid- February.

Twin Peaks was formed in 2009 while the boys (vocalist/guitarist Cadien Lake James, vocalist/guitarist Clay Frankel, bassist Jack Dolan, and drummer Connor Brodner) were still in high school in Chicago. After graduating, most of them made their way to the West Coast where they studied at Evergreen in Olympia, probably chasing the remnants of the Seattle area garage/punk rock scene. Shortly after, all of them ended up dropping out to focus on pursuing music. And so it all began.

For ME, it all began when I watched the music video for “Making Breakfast”:

Okay, admittedly I was a bit distracted by the overwhelming cuteness of one of the lead singers, Clay (he’s just real cute). On a more serious note, this band is very awesome. Making Breakfast is my favorite song on their newest album Wild Onion, and it’s so great because it has a wonderful goofy, cheesy charm. 

They take their music seriously, but don’t take themselves too seriously. That, to me, is a perfect balance. And this attitude rubs off on listeners. You can’t take anything too seriously when listening to Making Breakfast: 

Nothing is forever, that’s right but don’t let it get you down

Thanks Twin Peaks! I won’t let it get me down! I can’t count the times I’ve been walking through campus on a gloomy day and I got an instant high from blasting that song in my headphones. It takes a huge effort to stop myself from dancing in the midst of hundreds of strangers.

Listen to it! You can’t help but start dancing. And then right in the middle of the album they just threw in a crazy sax solo! A garage rock band did that! What an interlude. It’s insane because it’s so random, and when I first heard it I thought I was imagining things but I promise it’s really there.

Get ready to hear a lot more of Twin Peaks. Lined up to play at giant music festivals like Sasquatch, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands, Twin Peaks really has the potential to bring back the sound of danceable garage rock. They are relatable, hilarious, and their perfect mix of laid-back vibes and high energy could make them turn into icons for the slacker generation.

I love them. I love everything about them. (And I especially love Clay). You should love them too. Do something good for yourself. Download Wild Onion and listen to it on repeat for three months, because thats what I’ve been doing and it’s been going pretty damn well.

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izzy