Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Terrible Twos and their self-titled LP

A wavy synth drone straight out of some sci-fi b-movie rises and rises and sets a strange sort of tension likeable to those last few moments you have to yourself, behind the wheel, as the car plummets off the cliff.

What follows is not an abrupt crash, but more of a calamotous end over end torrent of loose and ravenous guitar chugs and screeched destruction. Welcome to the total liberation punk rock of the Terrible Twos. Time signatures change suddenly, the rhythms are herked and jerked and the percussion is always pounding, always moving forward.

Most admirably, the Detroit quintet has captured the fly-off-the-handle musical bellicosity of their bone-breaking live show stampedes; the synth and the guitars are screaming right alongside their human counterparts with equaled torture in their cries.

They show a mastery of tone, perfectly capturing that eerie edge-of-mischief snakey winding cat-in-a-blender guitar spindle as the drums continually open up random overstuffed closets that spill out pots, pans, circular saws and bowling balls onto these deceptively structured rock songs, filled with plenty of hooks and driving chord progressions.

"Pipe Bomb Pipe Bomb" does a great job of framing their occasional tendency to increasingly push their tempos to the point where self-destruction seems the only goal. "Chink Glass Eye" a longtime live favorite, is the perfect centerpiece, adeptly aided by the synths as they whirl into a chaotic siren over intricate, rapid drums and relentless strums, as the chorus bounces you around with a skewed chromatic up and down on the guitar neck.

The sound is a fusing of confrontational, early LA punk, and detached, runnin-wild scream-serenades of experimental post-punk.

Most of all it is a focused pandemonium - what's striking is how tight the ensemble is for the entirity of this 40-minute onslaught that's completely free of any quiet moments, breakdowns, solos, soft b-sections - there's no one at the sidelines handing you dixie cups of water, no rest-stops, no looking back..., there's nothing about love, no cryptic poetics, no self-aware goofing around, no holier-than-thou topical commentaries, no overly crowded polyrhythms and double-tracking......just a constant acceleration, ever-progressing errantry with a fascination with pandemonium...

...what happens when we let go
...and we stop for nothing... (CD) (LP)

upcoming shows: 3/6, with Black Lips, at the Magic Stick

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