It’s with a Vaudevillian flourish that The Lemon Twigs’ Brothers Of Destruction EP shimmy’s into life, with all the panache and androgynous flirtation that the brothers Brian and Michal D’addario have previously displayed through their exuberant reimagining of retro power pop. The six tracks on this outing are the leftovers, the odds’n’sods, from 2016’s Do Hollywood; recorded more informally at home on an 8-track, though with just as much vigour as the primary album material.
As a collection of sundry material goes, the quality is every bit as good as the songs that made the cut for Do Hollywood, with the usual B-band comparisons present and correct and a nice line in stylistic variety. While ‘Intro’ would be as much at home as a musical theatre piece as it is a rock’n’roll band’s opening salvo, it also points to an Anglocentrism that winds through the ensuing tracks.
The Zombies peek through the fizzle of hi-hats and deft, tripping snare rolls of ‘Why Didn’t You Say That?’ The ‘60s vibe is even stronger on ‘So Fine’, with the gentler, playful psych sensibilities of The Small Faces and a sign-off that’s as bittersweet as it is jubilant (“Everyone is trying to love/You shouldn’t be lonely with me”).
Folky and pastoral finds its counterpoint with eccentric and glam, with the innocence of ‘Beautiful’ at odds with a more experimental ‘Night Song’. The instrumental track of the latter is that bit busier than the EP’s other numbers with a bit of everything in the multi-instrumentalist brothers’ arsenal thrown at the canvas. It references Nardwuar – that peculiar, encyclopaedic music journalist and leader of garage rockers The Evaporators, known to everyone with more than a passing interest in music. Whether it was a calculated ploy for attention or a genuine show of respect is irrelevant (we suspect the latter), the D’addarios earned their inevitable Nardwuar interview.
The Lemon Twigs manage to fit an array of sounds that flit from Big Star to Ariel Pink into these half dozen tracks, genre dipping and era hopping with their influences emblazoned on their hearts and on their ruffled, fur-trimmed sleeves. Frequently impressive, if at times Beatles-lite, it’s every bit as fun as the album that spawned these accomplished offshoots.