Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Two Tens - On Repeat

I've been following the Two Tens for a while now, due to a couple of appearances in Las Vegas and their previous CD, Volume (which was a compilation of 4 EPs they had released title Volume 1, 2, 3 and 4). This duo - Adam Bones on guitar and vocals and Rikki Styxx (also of the Darts and Dollyrots) on drums and backing vocals - has quite a unique sound, combining 70's punk rock (Ramones, especially) with power pop, glam, and plain ol' rock'n'roll. The sound on this release is cleaner'n'tighter, although there is still some r'n'r grit'n'grime there.

From the opening title track you get the 2-10's sound - buzzing guitars, slammin' drums, catchy, repetitive vocals and plenty of energy. In "Crushed Me" there's a treated guitar lick leading into a punk/power/pop number before the pure 70's power-pop of "Keeping Hope Alive", which would be a hit in a fair world - terrific, layered vocals, hip guitar licks and boppin' drums. From there they head into practically grunge territory for the shoutin' "Stuck in my Head", they borrow from the Ramones for the repetitive "Mean Spirit", more pure pop for punk people in "Feel So Dumb", a little New Wave is mixed into "Burden", and spit-fire lyrics that somehow still maintain a melody in "Stories".

Bubblegum romanticism (complete with modulation!) pops up for the tale of teen longing, "Streetlight" (nice, 70's punk lead guitar), more heaviness in "Not Alright", Rikki takes lead vocals for the frenetic "Leave Me Behind", I don't know anything about Mortal Orchestra, but apparently, the pop-rockin' "Nerve Damage" is one of theirs, more pure pop for "Girlfriend Island", and the finale is a group-vocal'd, riffin', melodic "Friends".

Totally hep duet, very different than most people doing the 2-piece thing, with cool songs and plenty of energy - especially in the live setting. Dig 'em!