For most, musical bliss can come in various shapes and styles; creative adventures which just connect with personal instincts and tastes. It is fair to say that for us it recently came all rolled up in one hungrily tempting proposal going by the names of The Twindows and their debut album Valkyrie 2.0.
Hailing out of Philadelphia, The Twindows breed a rapacious sound which infuses essences of everything from noise and indie rock to metal and grunge to a punk across the decades borne heart. It is a bold and boisterous web of temptation as virulently infectious as it is ferociously imaginative and led by a voice truly we could listen to all day long. Vocalist/guitarist Aster Grimm has one of the most devilishly tempting voices and just as magnetically matched by the creative antics of guitarist Kyle Anderson, bassist Caleb Banas, and drummer Oskar Daoud across Valkyrie 2.0. Together they have nurtured a release which teases, seduces, and arouses across eleven lust inducing slices of musical diablerie.
It begins with Like My Music; raw and salacious pop infested punk rock roaring from aggravation with Damned like hooks and rhythmic rapacity to the fore. Grimm blossoms in the centre, her tones stirring song and attention further as for one minute and three quarters the track provides the album with one irresistible start.
The following Mosquito / Thick Skin swings in on a blend of grunge nurtured rock ‘n’ roll upon a ska seeded bounce. Fiercer textures with metallic toning soon sizzle and sear around the tenacious attack of Grimm, the track’s noise punk instincts just as vocal before it passed thick attention and an already keen appetite over to Forgiven. Instantly it entangles ears in rhythmic espionage; boisterously coaxing beats and a glorious bass grumble getting under the skin as guitars weave a sonic web around Grimm’s similarly magnetic lures. Something akin to Throwing Muses embroiled in the punk ‘n’ roll of Spinnerette and in turn fused with devilment of Die So Fluid, the track is sheer captivation; one as seductive as it is predacious and all feral temptation.
Dig Tree comes next, the track a bewitching slice of punk pop initially, nostalgically recalling bands such as The Chefs and 4 Non Blondes. It floats across the senses but has a sonic causticity which just adds to the song’s bait again headed by Grimm’s engagingly manipulative presence. Whilst adding a new hue to the album broadening adventure, the song has feet and hips involved just as easily as rock ‘n’ roll instincts.
That variety of flavouring across the release is encouraged again by next up Ska Death (Ska Death Lounge Death Ska), an unstoppable incursion of ska/noise punk which had the body eagerly bobbing along before expelling a hellacious sonic gas of aural volatility, a tempest returning with greater dexterity after the song relaxed again into its lively bounce, and with bolder imagination as sax flames sear the riveting bedlam. Imagine Animal Alpha infused by the spirit of The Jellycats and the punk revelry of The Mo-Dettes and you come close to the song’s infectious alchemy.
The Twindows let their punk instincts run riot in Reversals next, the track an insatiable rock ‘n’ roll charge with noise bred vapours crossing a kaleidoscope of twists and turns while Pulp within a similar but even more corrosive landscape leaps around with kinetic intensity and agility. All the while though as rhythms dance, sonic spices and melodic adventure simmers and rise up to temper and challenge the tempestuous nature of the track.
The inescapably catchy punk ‘n’ roll of Instigator unerringly worms into the psyche within seconds straight after, the song like a mix of The Kut and Daisy Chainsaw but as everywhere uniquely Twindows; a trait just as potently shown by the grunge rock of The Industry. Admittedly, the song did not quite hit the spot as those tracks around it within Valkyrie 2.0 but only added to the fun before The Pixies endowed Sleepycore had us licking our lips once more. With its almost somnolent swing and Grimm’s vocal bewitchment, the outstanding track simply transfixed, even more so when it’s deceitful gait unveiled a furious if still controlled intent.
Bringing things to a close Wire Mother surrounds its energetic croon with abrasive psych and indie punk imagination, the song another as unpredictable in sound and imagination as it is irresistible in persuasion. It provides a provocative and rousing conclusion to an album which just lit the fires of personal tastes while offering something completely fresh to ponder, taste, and devour.
We have nothing more to add except go and have a nibble yourselves.
Valkyrie 2.0 is out now and available @ https://thetwindows.bandcamp.com/album/valkyrie-20
Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018
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