Though still a young band, Twin Killers have quickly established themselves as the clear representatives of a Baton Rouge music scene that for over a decade has been usurped by any number of ultra-talented though overly-kitschy cover bands, with only the occasional Meriwether capable of making any waves beyond the city limits. Benefiting not just from an unpredictable hodgepodge of psychedelic pop and progressive mathrock but from a wholly unique onstage dynamic, this five-piece has in just one year managed to embark on multiple tours and put out a spellbinding record. That release – the hefty four-song Lemon Heart Opera EP – revealed Twin Killers as both highly inventive and attentive to technical compositional detail, while at the same time able to maintain a strangely collaborative personality around the central songwriting of Jermaine Butler and Andrew Martin.
If that’s also the way the band approached its new single “The Two Fridas”, then they’ve broadened their creative boundaries wider than anyone could have anticipated. Complemented heavily by Matt McClellan‘s nightmarishly brilliant mixing and mastering job, the song immediately highlights the otherworldly high-register vocals of Jessica Ramsey – possibly for the first time captured perfectly on record. Whereas on Lemon Heart Opera she was a newcomer attempting to abstractly croon in unison with Butler’s capricious drum work and Jeffrey Livingston’s smooth-edged basslines, here, above the Cave In-esque strings-of-heaven guitar harmonies of Martin and Chris Lott (formerly of championed post-hardcore act As Cities Burn), Ramsey has comfortably and emphatically settled into her dual role as raconteur and ombudswoman – at times less a lead singer than a bona fide intermediary between the band and the listener.
Having just completed an amazing mini-tour with compatriots Sun Hotel, Caddywhompus and Zorch; and with what is easily their most superb recording to date, it will be very interesting to see what Twin Killers have to offer in the remaining half of 2011.