The Twindows: Valkyrie 2.0

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Submitted by Gustave Carlson

Riding desert riffs and Seattle-style fuzz, Pennsylvania's Twindows have crafted an incredibly tight and nimble rock record in Valkyrie 2.0, out now on Amazon and streaming everywhere online music is sold. While some may contend that visceral rock n' roll is a thing of the past, the Twindows completely dismiss any such notion in these 11 blistering new tracks. Not solely reliant on primeval chest beating, there's plenty of self-aware lyrical exploration delivered with a fierce howl from frontwomanAster Grimm. What's more exciting is that, while backed by Kyle "Shaggs" Anderson on bass, guitar and vocals, KouqJ on guitar and bass and drummer Oskar Daoud, the Twindows create plenty of punk rock discord on Valkyrie 2.0 without stumbling into any pretentious scene politics, a feat not easily accomplished these days.

Part of the allure of alternative music has always been its lack of predictability and total rejection of commercial considerations. In the post-90's alternative rock market, which found a commercial saturation just before the turn of the century that just recently has begun to recede, predictability has become a very significant problem for bands trying to create original structures in a genre that has seen more than its fair share of distortion and deep lyrics. Skillfully, the Twindows manage to embrace their riot grrrl, stoner rock and grunge influences without sounding like a throwback band in the slightest. Valkyrie 2.0 opens with the fiery punker "Like My Music" which sets the fast past tempo for the entire album. Twindows' pedal board takes a ton of abuse throughout this album, which seems to proudly sports fatter bass and riffs than anything on the Top 40 in years. "Mosquito / Thick Skin" and "Forgiven" flow right into each other as we press on, with a Bad Brains-style urgency that is sure to inspire plenty of headbanging and circle pit destruction at the Twindows' live shows.

There are a lot of rules about what we're allowed to consider punk rock and what we're supposed to relegate to hard rock, all of them politically driven and in certain respects, artistically crippling, and Valkyria 2.0 doesn't pay much attention to any of them. The ballad "Dig Tree" sways and hypnotizes with its jangling, haunting guitars and reflective vocal, recalling a raw energy not dissimilar to Queens of the Stone Age's Rated R. Like Josh Homme and company, the Twindows are making music that allows audiences to appreciate the musicianship of the band in all of its organic glory, instead of attempting to drown out perceived production flaws with a lot of unnecessary additional sound engineering. Another one of the nicer attributes about their latest record is its anthology-like format. Songs like the 90 second "The Industry," the scathing commentary of "Pulp" and electrified nursery rhyme "Sleepycore" are additional gems from Valkyrie 2.0 and could all stand on their own as successful singles, as could all 11 songs on the album.

Overall, I'd say rock fans would do well to check out Twindows latest record which gives a heck of a lot of bang for only a $10 price point. Visit thetwindows.com to find out more about the band, buy merch and follow their tour schedule.

BANDCAMP: thetwindows.bandcamp.com/album/valkyrie-20