Album Review :
Twin Radio - The Coast of Indigo

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Band: Twin Radio
Album: The Coast of Indigo
Label: Lords of Pluto Records
Release: 6.17.14
Reviewer: Brody B
Tracklisting:

  1. Still Burning
  2. The Bonham Blues
  3. Find Our Way
  4. Home
  5. Albatross
  6. In Moonlight
  7. The Rest Is History
  8. The Beast of Tyrann
  9. Coletta and Cordell
  10. The Coast of Indigo

With their debut album, “The Coast of Indigo”, Twin Radio walk a very fine line. They are able to merge two different worlds of rock music together to make a record any demographic will be able to rock out to. The Maryland natives bring the heavy riffage, huge choruses, and skyrocketing vocal harmonies every old rockstar knows and loves, while infusing their jams with a smattering of keyboards and progressive elements that are sure to peak the interest of a younger crowd.

Still Burning sets the stage for the journey to come. While undoubtedly geared more towards raucous riffs and getting bodies moving than being a timeless epic, this opener is a great sample of the energy Twin Radio have to offer. Corey Highland makes his wide vocal range apparent in no time, as he registers both ends of the vocal spectrum with apparent ease and confidence. Brace yourself for this chorus to be lodged in your brain for weeks to come.

Keeping the energy going, The Bonham Blues is a track that aims to have the listener pummelling their steering wheel with the powerhouse riffage that is ever present in this barnburner. Jered Youngbar and Brandon Fingerman both lay down the backbone of the riffage, on guitar and bass respectively, proving that it’s possible to have an incredibly full and vivid soundscape as a four piece group.

Find Our Way finds Twin Radio slowing down the pace to near ballad territory. Subtle wind chimes and percussion add a nice depth to the more laidback soundscape. A heavy dosage of keytar techy guitar licks dominate the anthemic chorus, which gives the track some great substance rather than feeling like a hollow “obligatory soft song”.

While it took several listens to really grab me, Home is one of the most diverse and plain fun tracks on the record. Beginning on a sombre note, Highland softly croons amidst sustained piano, “There was a strange sickness within me / I couldn’t pull it out of my chest / But when I shut both eyes I see myself letting go / And I’m home”. The track soon proves itself to be a rollercoaster of action packed rock. Blast beats, rambunctious keytar riffs, and anthemic vocals soon all battle for the spotlight, allowing your ears to feel like a enraptured kid in a candy store as you choose which aspect to hone in on.

Albatross is perhaps the most in your face jam on the album. Exuding a sinister and grungy vibe, the guitar chops hit fast and hard. Drummer, Jake Dawson, has a standout performance with excellent cymbal and fill work. The gang vocals chanting, “No light!” are sure to have sweaty concert goers pumping their fists amidst a sea of movement.

The album ends in rock opera fashion with a three part epic that left me enamoured from beginning to end. The riff happy Beast of Tyrann finds Twin Radio bringing a technicality and drive not previously found on the record. Youngbar and Fingerman rule their fretboards bringing head bobbing grooves that will have even the most snobby of music critics tapping their toes.

Seamlessly flowing into my personal favorite on the album, Coletta and Cordell, the tempo picks up to a frenzy of bass licks and complex drum beats before going into my favorite licks on the album. Think somewhere between southern and nautical and you will land in the ballpark of this unique jam. Another key moments of the song comes in the form of Youngbar’s short, but oh so sweet, solo.

Rounding out the album in an epic fashion is the title track, The Coast of Indigo. This seven minute adventure is filled to the brim with tempo changes that all come at opportune moments to keep things from getting boring. Highland shines brighter than ever in the closer as he switches from softly crooning to high register howling seamlessly. The album concludes in a way every good rock album should – a great jam session. Bass leads, guitar solos, tight drums, and frantic keys all freely frolic the lush soundscape before fading to a well deserved ending.

The only really hangup I got while listening to “The Coast of Indigo” was a sense of longing for more progressive elements. The band shows they’re capable of making some really intricate tracks with the last three songs on the albums which continually evolve and have a ton of different and memorable parts to them. I just found myself feeling that some of the more straightforward songs like In Moonlight and The Rest Is History could have benefited from a few curveballs in their structure merely to spice things up.

Overall: Twin Radio have a sound that will appeal to anyone and everyone. They are able channel some of the great classic rock acts of our parents era while also adding their own youthful spin on things and rolling it all up into one enjoyable package. Look for huge things to come from these hardworking rockers.

RIYL: Aneirin | Rigoletto | House of Heroes

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