The saying third time lucky is tossed around often; stepping it up even further from 2014s sophomore album Wild Onion, Chicago-based garage rock band Twin Peaks have just released record number three, and it is their most accomplished release yet. Sonically miles ahead of their teenage debut Sunken, Down In Heaven is wise, (effectively) ambitious, and full of direction. A step down from its sometimes thrashy, sludgy predecessors, this album is much more about melody than dramatic impact, choosing the power of subtlety over the unavoidably demanding.
Tinged with a collectively vintage feel throughout, opening song Walk To The One You Love immediately depicts the bands more mature influences. With a sound falling in between both The Beatles and The Kinks mid-sixties, the new avenue they are travelling is immediately apparent, but also immediately palatable, perhaps due to the loyal addition of gritty, raw-throated ad-libs that could be considered a garage staple. Stain is another song where their love of the sixties (1968 in particular, according to front-man Cadien James), is at its most apparent. Armed with a Jefferson Airplane style delivery and full of exploratory guitar sections, the song swoons as it advises, “If you gotta hold onto something, you better hold on to yourself”.
Cold Lips is led by a swinging melody and chiming, mind invasive guitars and, coming one after the other both My Boys and Butterfly are jangly, and fuelled by buoyant ba-da-ba’s. There are times when their new sound does still sound new, and perhaps not quite as fine-tuned and settled as would be ideal. But as Down In Heaven is just their third album, and as all of the Twin Peaks boys still in their early twenties, there is no real haste. Though some songs could maybe do with more attention, gems such as Getting Better – a song led by new(ish) member and keyboardist Colin Croom’s delightfully fluid and vivaciously played melody – prove their competence, and make Down In Heaven a dead-set triumph.