The Lemon Twigs Do Hollywood
Published Oct 12, 2016The title of the debut album by Long Island's the Lemon Twigs is a bit of a joke, but also an eye-wink to the fact that they've already done Hollywood. The teenaged brotherly duo of Brian and Michael D'Addario grew up as child actors, appearing in some popular TV programs and feature films, but as children, the two brothers also became musical wunderkinds thanks to having professional musicians as parents.
Produced by Foxygen's Jonathan Rado, Do Hollywood is an album that sounds as if were written and recorded by seasoned studio eccentrics, but nope, it's the work of two teenagers — Brian is 19, Michael is 17 — who are just that fantastically knowledgeable and adept. They grew up obsessively ingesting records by the Beach Boys and the Beatles, but you have to think somewhere in there Ariel Pink, Sparks and even the Mothers of Invention were cunningly slipped in, because the Lemon Twigs aren't afraid to let their freak flag fly.
The goal seems to be to write timeless pop songs, but also to not let a good tangent go to waste. "These Words" follows Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, a True Star philosophy of taking it to another dimension and back, but also getting a good xylophone solo in to boot. "I Wanna Prove to You" is actually pretty faithful to the pop song structure, except for the fact that it feels more like two songs than one. And both "Those Days Is Comin' Soon" and "Haroomata" feel like circus freak shows, each wandering through ambitious psychedelic and prog passages in under three minutes.
The Lemon Twigs almost always use the kitchen sink approach on Do Hollywood, and it's pretty effective, too — there's nary a dull moment. Sure, Rado had something to do with the finished product sounding so wondrous, but credit really belongs to the D'Addario brothers. They're a unique songwriting team that will hopefully grow even weirder with time. (4AD)