The Lemon Twigs | Do Hollywood - Album Review


Considering the slew of reboots coming out of Hollywood these days, The Lemon Twigs first album Do Hollywood is aptly titled. After all, the record is a heavy callback to the music of several generations. Right off the bat, it needs to be said that the Lemon Twigs are talented, competent musicians who can compose a multilayered track robust with key changes and time signature shifts. "Haroomata" is a perfect example of the band's ability to juxtapose harmony and chaos, as they abruptly jump back and forth between a harpsichord-laden lamentation and a herky-jerky circus tune with Sgt. Pepper's undertones. Many of the songs on Do Hollywood exude similar confidence, interweaving instrumental chops with the chutzpah to push the tracks into directions you wouldn't expect.

And at times the album truly is beautiful. The lovely How Lucky Am I? plays like a piano ballad akin to something written by Brian Wilson. The opening chords combined with the spanning range of the vocals are pleasantly spellbinding, locking the listener into a soothing ditty about insecurity.

From start to finish, Do Hollywood is a solid listen that—even with all of its jarring switches and deviations—is coherent within itself. The songs agree with one another and fit well as a whole. Nothing is out of place.

Where the album falls short, however, is in its lack of individuality. The Lemon Twigs evoke so many sounds from so many different bands and artists. Along with the previous mentions of the Beatles and Brian Wilson, there are traces of numerous other greats—greats like Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips and Queen, to name a few. That's some incredible company, but often on Do Hollywood, it feels like the Lemon Twigs are leaning their predecessors instead of growing from them.

But, be that as it may, there are plenty of instances where the Lemon Twigs do branch out on their own (unintentional pun). Such is the case in "High+Lo" where the tried-and-true aspects of the days of yore cross paths with the cutting sleekness of the modern age. If the Lemon Twigs can distinguish their identity as they do on that track, they have the potential to differentiate themselves far and away from the herd of emerging bands.

Do Hollywood is a great debut by any standard, and the Lemon Twigs have clearly arrived. The question, though, is what do they do now that they're here?

The Lemon Twigs come through DC on November 12. Tickets are available here.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

- Eugene Schacht

Buy The Lemon Twigs on iTunes

Stream on Spotify