Hailing from Chicago, the five piece garage rock band called Twin Peaks played Rough Trade a little while back off a short UK tour before heading off to France and Australia (via Texas…) for more dates. This band tours hard and looks to be lined up for a very busy summer!
The three guitarists, Cadien Lake James, Clay Frankel and Jack Dolan on bass took front of stage forming a solid wall of rollicking riffs and electrifying solo’s anchored by Jack’s catchy bass rhythms placed front and centre. Colin Croom’s keyboard playing brings depth to Twin Peak’s sound whilst Connor Brodner’s spirited drumming, thumps out the irresistible beat that glues together the varied musical elements the other band members serve up to the crowd and drives each track onwards like a hurricane storm surge making landfall.
I’m not sure that the garage rock label really does the band credit as it fails to get a across the breadth of the influences Twin Peaks roll in to their music. Unlike every other band I’ve seen of late (and there’s been the odd one or two…) Twin Peaks are blessed with four singers and make use of this by weaving Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies in to their otherwise brash, energetic brand of rock ’n’ roll. All the band members have taken a hand in the song writing, and each in turn leads on the songs they’ve written. This makes for a really interesting set drawing the crowd’s focus in different directions with each track. In terms of style, Twin Peak’s songs range between a straight forwards, all out, rough and tumble, punkish dude-rock that would almost certainly see a younger, less self-conscious crowd than those present in Rough Trade bouncing off the walls, and a more considered, introspective melodic sound with a 60’s-70’s root.
That these styles are flip-sides to the same coin, and that they are coupled with the cohesion that constant touring and playing together brings makes it feel that Twin Peaks are on the path toward growing in to something big – if they go the distance. But right now, it’s all about the immediacy of the energy and excitement they bring to the stage…
As ever the diminutive scale of the Rough Trade stage makes lighting large bands tough, but careful focussing of the power-bricks enabled Lampy to get a good colour differential between front and back of stage. When shooting from the left side of the stage, I’ve always got the glitter ball above the counter with its attendant stick of power-bricks (on their random, self-determining colour setting) to give me a bit of texture to play with, but for this show Lampy deployed two extra power-bricks on the stage, one uplighting the drums (drummers love this because rather than sitting in darkness at the back of the stage, their drums glow!), and one facing forwards towards the guitar-armed front rank of Twin Peaks. With guitarist Cadien often turning to face Connor during key drum breaks before turing back to the audience this gave a short window where his face was very nicely up-lit making for a really interesting shot.
Rough Trade East, 20/04/2016
More photos here…