I’m commonly in a bad mood. Maybe bad isn’t the right way to put it. I’m often in something that borders on complete frustration and total malaise over having to deal with other human beings. What’s a guy to do in that situation? Mope? Complain? Be an annoyance to everyone in which he comes into contact? In short, yes. To all of those.
But I do try not to be a complete pain in the ass all the time, so if I feel my mood needs a bit of a shift, music can be a help. This exact thing happened lately as I was dealing with a work project that got fouled up a bit, and the thing needed turned around pretty damn quickly. I went to my arsenal that is my Haulix account and turned on something that was on my review schedule coming up, and wouldn’t you know it, mood totally turned around. So if I ever get an e-mail giving me a thumbs up for a job well done, I’ll be sure to remind them to thank Twin Lords and their riotous debut record “Devastating Planetary Shift.” Holy shit if that seven-track, 41-minute slab of infectious noise didn’t point me in the right direction, and while it isn’t totally metal through and through, I think a great deal of you reading this space regularly are going to find a lot to like here.
As perhaps hinted in their name, there are two fellows making all the damage here. Dan Alex Rivera is your bassist/vocalist, while Andrew Hernandez handles drums, and together they make enough racket for a whole bunch of people and certainly more instruments. Their riffs are strong, the playing is delirious and spirited, and the gruff vocals remind of Lemmy at his most agitated. In fact, while comparisons are hard to come by with this band, I’d day anyone into bands such as Lightning Bolt, the earlier years of DFA 1979, and, yeah, Motorhead are going to be pretty amped by this display.
The record gets kicked off hard with “Rise,” as weird noises bubble, fuzzy riffs start to spiral, and gurgled cries erupt, making the song both catchy and annoyed at the same time. The band settles into proggy grooves here and there (as they do often on the record), and the final moments are fiery and blurry. “The Guilt of One Man” tears open, with crunch causing bruising and the riffs again served family style, in that there’s enough to make everyone fattened up. The melodies get loopy and strange, the vocals feel unhinged, and we end up in a bath of sludge. “Til Times End” begins in a weird fog, as a bizarre dialog plays, but then we’re off to the races, with the bass buzzing, the growls expanding to shrieks, and plenty of body punches thrown before the whole thing bleeds out. “Arithmaphobia” is a fun instrumental cut, with echoey voices calling out, noise spitting sparks, a muddy path being dug, and the cymbals just being crushed.
“Stoned Cutter” has the bass thumping you, the growls sounding pushy and mean, and the melodies causing a hypnotic effect. There are stretches that are crushingly slow, as you’re whipped by penetrating pounding, and the back end rages to life, with fiery, daring playing, and the bass scorching you, like it’s literally about the set fire to something massive. “The Fear” is a quick one, but it makes its presence known in short order, as the band blasts into a speedy tempo, the shrieks are packed with panic, and Rivera vows, “An eye for an eye for an eye!” Closer “Why Am I” is the longest cut at 6:43, and it takes some time to build itself up. Waves crash down, long echoes set the stage, and the riffs finally arrive, moving at a calculated pace. The vocals go for the kill, sounding raspy and stressed, especially when Rivera notes, “As I wait for nothing to arrive.” The intensity keeps boiling until the final moments, when the sounds bleed out and misery finally comes to an end.
This is a promising new band that already has a stranglehold on how to control noise in their favor. “Devastating Planetary Shift” is a smoking record, and Twin Lords seem content to bash away and make everyone either enthralled with rage or completely uncomfortable. I identified with it right away as it got me going and fueled my productivity. I’m not sure that was Twin Lords’ goal or anything, but damn it if they’re not to credit for one hell of a booming work week.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/TwinLords
To buy the album, go here: https://handshakeinc.bandcamp.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://handshakeinc.com/