Twin Peaks – ‘Wild Onion’

Youthful vigour makes the Chicago garage-rockers' UK debut unmissable

Twin Peaks are more than just garage-rock party starters. The Chicago band’s gnarly 2013 debut ‘Sunken’ mixed thrashers like ‘Stand In The Sand’ with ‘Irene’, a slower, moodier cut that proved it wasn’t always a race to the finish. On this second LP – their first full-length release in the UK – they’re ramming that point home.

At 16 tracks, ‘Wild Onion’ gives the quartet of 20 year olds plenty of time to do it, too. Originally conceived as a double album, it veers from the kind of out-and-out rock’n’roll you’d expect from a band pegged as hard-partying kids, to sultrier instrumental interludes (‘Strange World’, ‘Stranger World’) and more considered creations. ‘Sweet Thing’ falls into the latter category. Sounding like a pubescent Elvis Costello, guitarist Cadien Lake James sings “Of all the other girls I could be callin’/That phone of yours is ringing off the wall…/You got me hooked” over breezy strumming. ‘Ordinary People’ is a woozy dawdle, its lilting guitar hooks smothered in foggy atmospherics, and ‘Mind Frame’ ambles by dreamily.

It’s their ambition, and ability to extend their own ’60s influences that makes Twin Peaks so exciting. Brilliant positivity and youthful vigour thrum through each song – it’s impossible not to grin to the opening yowls of ‘Good Lovin”. Lyrically, it slips just once, on ‘Sloop Jay D’ as bassist Jack Dolan yearns for some female company (“I hope that you fuck me/I hope that you love me”) and details his attempts to get it through music (“I know I’m wrong for loving you too long/I wrote you all these songs now, can’t you see?”)

It’s ‘Fade Away’ that showcases this band’s attitude best. “I ride around my side of town, my hair in the breeze/Life for me is drinkin’ beer and smokin’ on weed” sings Dolan over an urgent, helter-skeltering Thee Oh Sees-style riff. The song dismisses thoughts of dying young and gets wrecked instead. Twin Peaks aren’t interested in burning out, even if their lifestyle suggests they might. While they’re here, they’re just too good to miss.