Albums Of The Week

Fabulous, riotous and addictive

The Lemon Twigs are a brother-duo band comprising (from left) Michael and Brian D'Addario.
The Lemon Twigs are a brother-duo band comprising (from left) Michael and Brian D'Addario.PHOTO: 4AD

The Lemon Twigs' new album is a love letter to the odder reaches of rock

The old is new again in the hands of Brian D'Addario, 19, and brother, Michael, 17, two former child actors from Long Island, New York.

Growing up imbibing their father's dusty but glorious record collection - a treasure trove of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Queen and The Kinks - they have proffered a love letter to the odder reaches of rock. It is fabulous, riotous and ridiculously addictive.

Dressed up as if they have ransacked the closets of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury - from Spandex jumpsuits to super-tight, crotch-hugging jeans - the duo strut and pout with god-given attitude.

No wonder they have been hailed as the future of rock by taste-makers such as statesman Elton John and Heloise Letissier of the hip band, Christine and the Queens.

The teenagers blissfully combine two latest phenomena - namely a string of 1970s-styled singer-songwriters such as Father John Misty and Tobias Jesso Jr, with the limber, psychedelic rock revivalists such as Tame Impala - into a heady brew of retro-future zingers.

  • INDIE ROCK





  • The Lemon Twigs are a brother-duo band comprising (from left) Michael and Brian D'Addario.

    The Lemon Twigs are a brother-duo band comprising (from left) Michael and Brian D'Addario.PHOTO: 4AD

    DO HOLLYWOOD

    The Lemon Twigs

    4AD

    4/5 stars

They cram a gazillion ideas into each track - seldom a good sign, but, hey, as long as they can pull off the stunt, why begrudge them?

They cannot sit still. Just take a listen to the track As Long As We're Together, which begins as a softly strummed, gently sung confessional, then morphs into a bodacious prog-rock anthem as they yelp over incendiary riffs and zig-zagging synths that light the night sky.

"And I look just like an owl/And you think that's just fine," goes one of the siblings in a song that may well be a testament to brotherhood, heart on chest.

Producer Jonathan Rado, one- half of the acclaimed Californian psych-pop duo Foxygen, wisely keeps things loose and raw, recording the boys in his front room and you can hear how the latter are perfectly in sync.

These two intuit, rather than calculate. Swinging from the dazzling panorama of Pink Floyd in Haroomata to the soft-rock manna of Wings in I Wanna Prove To You, the brothers gallivant through their make-believe arcadia.

It is not all wide-screen bravura. When they go soft, they can be devastating too. How Lucky Am I? is a charming, Beach Boys-styled piano ballad, hitting the sweet spot between wistfulness and slightly off-kilter as the two coo in harmony.

Baby, Baby moves from intimate and sotto voce to a bright, breezy, electric jaunt, shadowing the tug of war between two lovers. It is intricate, open-hearted and appealing.

"Baby, baby why ya so angry at me?... Come on girl, you know I'm not angry at you," pleads one of the boys and you know no one can stay angry for too long.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2016, with the headline 'Fabulous, riotous and addictive'. Print Edition | Subscribe