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Twisted Trees

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Album Review

There is something instantly likeable about the sound of French rock trio Underground Railroad, at least to indie rock fan's ears. Their combination of noisy guitar screech, crashing drums, and raw, punky energy brings to mind a number of names held near sacred in the fandom — Unwound, Fugazi, Sonic Youth. Certainly, bringing up such names when talking about a record by a relatively young band may seem like an instant stamp of approval, yet in the end there's sadly little to like about Twisted Trees other than the reverence with which Underground Railroad treat the legacy of their forbearers. They sure have mastered the art of sounding just like their heroes, and they play with enough reckless abandon to erase doubts in their conviction — they just aren't that good at transforming all that chaotic energy into memorable songs. When their songwriting abilities match their explosive racket, as on urgent opener "Cookies and Milk" or the tense yet dreamy "Hollywood Whore," Underground Railroad sound every bit the great band they aspire to be. For the most part, however, Twisted Trees is all surface — the work of a talented band which faithfully re-creates a sound perfected more than a decade ago by far stronger bands, but fails to add anything of its own to it.

Twisted Trees, Underground Railroad
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