If you ask Twin Peaks who their musical influences are, they will tell you bands like The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys, and it's easy to laugh off the idea that these DIY garage rockers who are not yet old enough to drink legally could actually take on these rock 'n' roll greats. But these Chi-Town boys have managed to deliver a tight and original sophomore album that subtly references these musical icons.
Despite the album's tightness, it's a bit hard to wrap your head around Wild Onion
— the record constantly hits you with whiplash-inducing turns as you are introduced to another style with every new song, which is possibly due to Twin Peaks having three main singers and songwriters. The horns in "Stranger World" sound like they could be playing at a hip jazz club, but this relaxed melody changes when "Good Lovin'" rolls around, which has an energy that strongly emulates The Rolling Stones. And along with its style mash-ups, the album also battles a schizophrenic identity in its lyrics. "Sloop Jay D" boyishly recalls being scorned by a girl with lyrics akin to those found on the band's debut Sunken
, while the single "Flavor" exhibits a new maturity as lead singer Cadien Lake James shares how he "searched and drifted and grieved, man / Just trying to decide who to be" but in the end he tells us "I decided I'd just try to be me."
Throughout the changing voices and rhythms, Wild Onion
stays true to Twin Peaks' irreverent and upbeat style, but along with its wallops of guitars, the songs reveal a softer and more melodic sound. But don't take the maturing style to mean that the boys are done with giving us riotous songs and performances — they are still the binge drinking, pot smoking kids they've been for years, and they're not showing signs of stiffening up any time soon.
Get your copy of Wild Onion
now on iTunes
, and check out the video for "Flavor" below.