Twin Peaks self-released their debut, Sunken, in July 2012. Then, after the band left for college, returned home, and later signed with Autumn Tone Records, the album disappeared back into the murky depths from which it came. Now, just like a chest of buried treasure, this soggy little sonic gem has been restored to its original brilliance. Yes, Sunken has finally resurfaced one year later, and yes, I promise to cool it with the deep sea diving references.
Let’s just imagine that those who didn’t hear Sunken the first time around never got the chance; how sad for them! I don’t ever want to advocate dropping out of college, but in this instance, it seems the boys of Twin Peaks became drop-outs for the greater good of us all. Sunken is a subtle record, one that goes down as refreshingly easy as the young band of dudes that created it. While it’s true that these four sprightly Chicagoans– barely past their late teens– sound much older than they actually are, I’m referring to skill only; the nine tracks that make up Sunken retain an unflappable youthful vigor that doesn’t ever fade.
There’s an overarching sameness on Sunken, but it’s more like cohesion than staleness; the guys are already developing their signature sound. Whether it be the fuzzy guitar action of garage jam “Fast Eddie,” or the ebbing, flowing, and screeching rhythms of “Out of Commission,” Twin Peaks know how to keep things cool and connected. The piercing percussions of “Natural Villain” are particularly impressive, as is past single “Stand in the Sand,” one of the album’s very best. Boasting a glam guitar background and its fair share of “Oh, yeahs!”, the summertime jam burns truly bright. Current single “Irene,” on the other hand, is pure dream pop perfection, evoking lazy summer nights by way of hazy, spinning melodies.
Do Twin Peaks even know about Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer? Maybe not. In fact, they weren’t even born by the time their namesake cult series was laid to rest. That’s neither here nor there. What Twin Peaks clearly do know about is crafting an excellent debut album. Sunken proves that the quickly-rising youngsters are fostering a delightfully dreamy, reverb-heavy brand of garage rock that could only be their own. And in the world of indie rock buzz bands, that quality is rarer than any treasure of the briny deep.
3 / 5 bars