Twin Steps // Serial Parade
Recommended Track: I Cried
Oakland’s Twin Steps are a kooky bunch that have gotten quite creative on their Serial Parade EP. Clocking in at just over twenty minutes, Serial Parade manages to exude happy-go-lucky as well as deranged vibes.
Album opener “Wave of my Emotion” begins with snotty na-na-na’s and twangy surf guitar rhythms. It’s a catchy throwback to early rock n’roll and R&B, but with enough California attitude to still feel modern. “Junkie Song” is like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart à la Pulp Fiction. It’s a hand clapping, booty shaking, saxophone blasting good time. Pair that with a very Allman Brothers sounding guitar lick and you’ve got the makings of a weird, albeit good song. Singer Drew Pearson’s reverberated yells really do make him sound like a junkie, and with lyrics like “My face is wrapped around my skull,” you’ve got to wonder what he’s hooked on.
While the intro to next track “Pitch Black Forest” kind of sounds like an angry mob, it has a very fun, lighthearted melody that builds into a noisy frenzy. Here, Pearson’s inflections sound a bit like Frank Black, with a scream that could even rival Black’s, but Twin Steps are no Pixies. They are more experimental in combining music styles and magically making them cohesive. This fact is even more apparent on last track “Pinkie Promise”, which sounds like 50s pop fell in love with garage rock at the local soda fountain. Somehow it works, and seems like something John Waters might include in one of his films. The ending has some creepy laughs sprinkled in, but at this point in the record, it’s not surprising. These dudes know how to make weird work, while not completely alienating their audience. It will be interesting to see how their songs translate live, especially after a toke or two.