The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood Review

The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood

The Lemon Twigs' sound is AM Gold with hits of acid. Like a mixture of Harry Nilsson and Brian Wilson.
4ad, 2016
Purchase: Amazon

7.2 / 10

The Lemon Twigs are a great example of a band that looks very different than they sound. The brother-duo of Brian and Michael D’Addario (along with Danny Ayala and Megan Zeankowski) look like a pair of Aussie lo-fi rockers. They’re not lo-fi (not at all), and they’re from Long Island, NY, which is about as far from Australia as humanly possible. The Lemon Twigs’ sound is much more AM Gold with hits of acid. Like a mixture of Harry Nilsson and Brian Wilson.

Some of the tracks on Do Hollywood are fairly straightforward (“Baby, Baby”, “These Words”), but many are pretty bizarre. “Those Days Is Comin’ Soon” is a little more classic rock but with strange codas of tempo changes and Brian Wilson goofiness — a touch of Sgt. Peppers under the big top. More weird tempo and key changes rear their head on “Haroomata” with Benny Hill-like moments of zaniness. Some tracks are a comfortable mixture of the strange and the well-done (“As Long As We’re Together”). It seems like these middle-ground tracks show off both the Twigs’ skill and their inventive nature — here they are both impressive and original. The Harry Nilsson comparison shines brightest on piano ballads like “How Lucky Am I?” and big smiling tracks like “I Wanna Prove To You”.

Just about half of Do Hollywood is incredibly enjoyable, and almost all of it shows a definite knack for songwriting. While I can’t shake the Nilsson comparison, they’re not quite on that level just yet. The arrangements are all very well done, but a lack of cohesion seems to hurt Do Hollywood overall. It almost feels like The Lemon Twigs got bored simply putting together catchy songs and occupied themselves with twisting them up just for effect.

The area where Do Hollywood struggles is definitely in its ability to put forth a theme that listeners can follow. Instead, most of the songs change so drastically from chorus to verse that we get whiplash. There’s nothing to settle into and invest in — which is unfortunate because I don’t think it’s for a lack of skill. Maybe just a lack of focus.

I would definitely recommend a few singles on this album as among the best I’ve heard all year, but I’d struggle to call this album complete. There is probably enough here for an amazing EP, but its schizophrenic nature makes Do Hollywood a tough album to truly love and get familiar enough with to warrant multiple listens.

Key Tracks:
“These Words”
“As Long As We’re Together”