The Lemon Twigs and Joyce Manor

The Lemon Twigs

The Lemon Twigs “Do Hollywood”

While Ronnie D’Addario’s kids are teens, they picked up their dad’s best music instincts on the Lemon Twigs big label debut. “I Wanna Prove To You” is a retro doo-wop mid-tempo ballad thats twisted around a slick production style similar to 10cc. It takes a few listens to appreciate all the melodic goodies contained within, like the next track “Those Days is Comin’ Soon,” filled with a complex blending of styles. If anything, this allows The Lemon Twigs to stand out against a homogenous indie rock field.

The precious vocals on “Haroomata” and “Baby, Baby” recall Nilsson but don’t stay boxed in any conventional structure, with frantic synth pop la-las bursting out from the slow tempo. “These Words” could be a lost Todd Rundgren tune, full of studio craft and bursting with harmony. “How Lucky Am I” is the most like a conventional love song, but its the unexpected twists in these songs that makes this album special, “Hi + Lo” being a perfect example. Very hard to categorize (on purpose) but it also reminded me of Frank Zappa and The Mothers “We’re In It For The Money,” amongst other timeless pop gems. Highly Recommended.


Joyce Manor

Joyce Manor “Cody”

Joyce Manor is speaking to generation of young males (much the way Weezer did 20 years ago) with 2 minute slices of emotional angst. Opening with “Fake I.D.” which describes the thrill of meeting that smoking hot but superficial girl who asks “what do you think about Kanye West?” All done with a swagger and fuzz, very much like Superdrag as “Eighteen” rocks out a catchy credo “Find something to do, then do it,” but then ending with “I feel so old today.”

An acoustic duet about addiction “Do You Really Want to Not Get Better?” between lead vocalist and guitarist Barry Johnson and Phoebe Bridges provide a good break from the earlier anthems. “Make Me Dumb” leads with a loud minor-key riff and melodic chorus similar to early Rooney. But “Over Before It Began” and “Stairs” are the heart of this album, the latter a mid-tempo ballad about young adulthood “Yeah, I’m 26 and I still live with my parents.” Each song has a good hook and the band solidly connects with its audience. Highly Recommended.