The Lemon Twigs
London The Lexington
Glam kids are alright.
Paul Weller’s watching tonight, and knows better than most that the degree of teen talent dubbed precocious on the D’Addario brothers’ debut as The Lemon Twigs, Do Hollywood, was normal when rock was young. Goofy brat androgyne brother Michael is now 19, and relatively introverted longhair Brian 21. New album Go To School’s deployment of voraciously absorbed early-70s styles, glam-punk to the fore, in a Sondheim-influenced musical about an alienated chimp who burns his human high school down is, admittedly, ambitious for any era.
This post-Columbine Carrie, or maybe Grease, takes up most of the set. Album guest and band deity Todd Rundgren can’t make it, but Michael’s goofy charisma is enough. From his PG-rated Lou Reed patter to his jerky scissor-kicks and flashes of flyweight flesh, he’s a wired, outsider irritant in a way that resonates past pastiche. Drummer Andres Valbuena, meanwhile, fanatically drives the siblings’ smoothly beautiful guitar barrages and ballsily florid harmonies.
Go To School’s story is rooted in the brothers’ shielding of their personalities from their Long Island school’s conformist pressures. Michael’s visceral discomfort during a jokey but swiftly junked blues shows they still have their own code of near-camp authenticity. The Lemon Twigs prove rock can remain youthful, rampant fun, and they mean every excessive word.
The D’Addario brothers: charismatic and compelling.