For Love and Lemon Twigs
Photo Credit: Dork Magazine
It was a surprisingly hot eve in September, and I was looking for rock ‘n’ roll. It came to me in the form of one of my favourite bands, The Lemon Twigs, who were performing at Lee’s Palace.
The Lemon Twigs are a band comprised of two brothers, Michael and Bryan D’Addario, as well as some of their schoolmates, Danny Ayala and Megan Zeankowski (yes, schoolmates, as they are still teens). They all grew up in Long Island near the vibrant NYC scene—a scene with which their father was familiar. They stem from a musical family, with dad Ronnie D’Addario being an accomplished songwriter of the ’70s and ’80s. Their father was obsessed with ’60s psych rock, and you can REALLY see the influence on the band.
The band itself has been described as psych pop, alternative rock, and even baroque pop. All in all, it’s one of the only truly fun rock bands out there today. Similar to their contemporaries Foxygen, they create songs that are inspired by the ’60s and ’70s, and as such are completely dramatic. One example, and one of my favourites, is their single “As Long As We’re Together.” It’s a charming song that can not only transport you back to the early ’70s, but also captures a certain sense of youth. One verse goes, “Yeah arm to arm and thigh to thigh,/ Even though there's plenty of room,/ And I look just like an owl,/ And you think that's just fine,/ But it doesn't matter, anyway.” There is something very sweet about this line that reminds me of being 16 and going over to my crush’s house, only to sit awkwardly and barely talk.
They may seem young and sweet on the record, but The Lemon Twigs IRL are in a different realm. One simply must begin with the ensembles of Michael and Bryan. Bryan’s look is more subtle than Michael’s, but with high-waisted wide-leg jeans and a printed blouse … how subtle can it really be? Then there is Michael. He was wearing a black, shiny, ultra glam jumpsuit with full makeup (think heavy eyeliner) and a mullet. You could say he was channeling a goth David Bowie.
The first half of the set was calm, playing tunes from both their first album, Do Hollywood (2016), and their new EP, Brothers of Destruction (2017), with Bryan taking on singing duties while Michael plays on drums. No crazy gimmicks with Bryan, just the lovely sound of his voice. An interesting point about this band and part of the reason why they switch up roles halfway through is because they split songwriting. This makes for a more passionate and dynamic performance for both. And passionate it was! You could tell Michael would be an insane frontman just judging by the showmanship he had banging on those drums. The last half of the set had Michael singing and it was chaotic. Wonderfully chaotic. It was like watching a 2017 Iggy Pop, acting like he didn't give a shit, walking off stage, jumping around, knocking things over and doing high kicks every two minutes. What can I say, I loved it. Pure entertainment.
Although I love many bands that fall into the category of alt rock, many just don't have that ***rockstar*** quality. I want my rockstars to look and act insane, not to wear flannel, tiny hats and be shy. NO NO NO. Give me The Lemon Twigs!