The songs exude a sense of refined structure that cut through any processed and confined studio sounds
Written by Molly Alexander
Almost a year ago, two teen brothers from Long Island released their debut album, Do Hollywood: a seamless collection of songs reminiscent of an earlier decade. Despite being eighteen and twenty, they effortlessly fuse together their youthful vivacity with a wide range of musical elements from the 60’s and 70’s. Rather than taking on a modern sound, they romp through a musical garden of the past, picking different elements to form a truly unique bouquet of sounds.
Their debut juxtaposed a wide range of retro instrumentals with catchy lyrics. The album drew in fans of everything from baroque-rock to power-pop, leaving listeners eager to see where the duo was headed next.
In preparation for their next full length album, Brian and Michael D’Addario, released a six track transitional EP, Brothers of Destruction. It compiles a selection of songs excluded from their initial release and previously exclusive to their live shows. Despite being recorded in their home, the songs exude a sense of refined structure that cut through any processed and confined studio sounds.
The intro leads the listener in with a strange variety of wind instruments and harmonies that quickly bleed into the first track “Why Didn’t You Say That”. The track serves as a refreshing glass of nostalgia evocative of a summer day spent listening to the Beach Boys.
The second track “So Fine” is framed by rambunctious vocals that dance with a sprinkling of tambourine and drum beats. Their sun drenched melodics transition from working in harmony to shining on their own. This song in particular brings to light the elements of their past style with subtle nodes of experimentation. It is not as seamless and refined as their debut but shows stylistic promise.
The fiery tone burns down to a subtle ember with the track “Beautiful” in which Brian expands his vocal fluidity and delicacy. He comments on our insignificance in the grandeur of humanity and nature through singing “I am nothing / I am no-one / it’s wonderful”. Each person’s life is a mere blip on the universal time line but Brian sees light in this darkness. Rather than being helmed by pessimism, he sees that lacking a purpose in life grants us the ability to redefine our destiny and find happiness. Unlike the other tracks on the album, Brian’s voice shines potently above subtle guitar, peaking with the addition of brass and drums.
The energy rebounds with “Night Song”, a track with sounds reminiscent of Electric Light Orchestra and the Beatles. This is my favorite track on the EP as it successfully combines early 70’s strings with very modern siren and vocal samples. It is important to note that the brothers independently write their songs as to let their point of views and interests stand on their own. The playful energy of this track can be associated with the writing style of Michael, still young and possessed by curiosity and sense of humour. Rather than focusing on adolescent love and frustrations like their prior tracks, the brothers loosen up, as they “Take selfies with Nardwuar” and take the listener through a chaotic image of a grocery store. The song’s unexpected nature intensifies when the busied words about dancing are abruptly interrupted by both sirens and gunfire from a fantastical police.
The album delicately fades out with the simplistic track “Light and Love”. Brian’s raw vocals parallel those of “Beautiful” and unify the diverse nature of the album.
Brothers of Destruction extracts the last drop of energy from their debut album. While it does not necessarily take roots in a new genre or tone, it does satisfy the acquired musical taste of their fanbase. The Lemon Twigs’s latest release implants a sense of desire within listeners, now eager to uncover where the duo will journey next.