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Give Twin Peaks an inch and they'll take a stretch of the road. Having careened across America and beyond, sharing their staggering energy, the band made their third album the best way they know how: by themselves. The same group that produced the scuzzy squalor of their debut Sunken, had legions of fans screaming along to their anthemic sophomore effort, Wild Onion, now swings and serenades with Down In Heaven. Co-produced by the band and longtime collaborator R. Andrew Humphrey, and mixed by new confidant John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth), the record is by turns raw, polished and wise beyond its years.
The diverse new songs beg the listener to sway slowly, bang their head wildly and question what they were doing wasting emotional time on anything less. It is a marked, and some may say mature, development for a band that doesn't know how to play it safe. They aren't here to tell you what youth is like or what being a little older now means, though; they want to join you in a conversation about why we hurt, love and tug at each other. Recording on reel-to-reel with the band learning studio tricks on the fly, Twin Peaks set out to a make an LP that reflects how far they've come and how much of life is left, trusting themselves to make a record they'd want to hear.
Whether sneering or pleading, aggressive or impatient, the 13-tracks of Down In Heaven are a continuation of the band's path and an eschewing of previous comparisons. It's a record all about feel: heartbreak, forgiveness, anger, jubilation, reinvention, growth. Album opener "Walk To The One You Love," written by Cadien Lake James about letting someone close to you go is immediately followed by Clay Frankel's song "Wanted You," with lyrics about not getting the one that you yearn for. And then there's "Stain," a song about the love of music which may be the biggest departure for the band on the record. Even though four of the five members contribute lyrics, there are obvious connections both thematically and musically across the record and the band's voice rises unified.
Down in Heaven will bring old fans and new Twin Peaks most complex record to date, encompassing elements only teased on their previous efforts. Put simply, Down In Heaven makes it increasingly hard to call their sound "classic." It's rock new and old, it's a little bit of country, it's a whole lot of punk attitude, and it's something to get excited about. Twin Peaks is here to stay, and they aren't going to get pinned down.