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Sound Check

4/2/2014

cd TwinsTwins

“Tomboys on Parade”

Maximum Ames

I am nakedly, unabashedly, undoubtedly a fan of Twins. The music has a happy-go-lucky, early ’60s throwback feel to it that is undeniable fun. But Twins is not simply a kitschy nostalgia act. These guys — Sires brothers Luke, Harper and Joel, along with bassist Devin Ferguson — are genuinely accomplished songwriters and musicians, and “Tomboys on Parade” is a beautiful-sounding album. Mixed at Cedar Falls’ Jealous Dog Studios, “Tomboys…” captures Twins’ hopelessly optimistic sound in the best way possible. The band’s Beatles-esque four-part harmonies sound crisp and clear, and the guitar work of Harper and Joel Sires is sharp and clean. “Babe City,” the first single from the album, is potentially the poppiest of the tracks, but opener “Teach Each Other” is a perfect introduction to anyone new to the band’s sound. Twins is a band that I’ve enjoyed live every time it’s come to town. It’s nice to have a portable version to call my own. CV

 

HIV

cd FartbarfFartbarf

“Dirty Power”

Independent

First off, yes. Yes, I chose this album for review primarily because of my inner 12-year-old. That being said, Fartbarf (ha!) is actually a creative group of guys. Fartbarf’s (ha!) three members (Dan, Josh and Brian; no last names given) create all their songs on old analogue synthesizers — no Macbooks or digital manipulation for these fellows — and have honed a sound that can best be described as a poor man’s version of early Daft Punk. There’s an artistry to the album that lies more in the creation than the end result. Analogue synths are notoriously fickle, temperamental machines, and making them soar the way Fartbarf (ha!) is able to requires a deft hand. Much the way appreciating a great paintings means appreciating its brush strokes, “Dirty Power” is enhanced by the effort that had to go into its creation. CV

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