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coverpic flag US - Pennsylvania - Full Moon 64 - 12/30/01

The Twin Atlas
Kitchen USA
Tappersize Records

Another odd but heartwarming project from the US underground. The Twin Atlas are Sean Byrne (the drummer of Lenola and Mazarin) and buddy Lucas Zaleski, playing a varity of instruments (both acoustic and electric). Kitchen USA is a true home recording (on Tascam 8-track cassette machine), written and recorded by the two mainly in apartment 2224, Philadelphia PA, over a period of several months (2000-2001). Let the tape hiss tease you, and you'll discover soothing, classic pop.

Byrne and Zaleski have been playing together since they met during University studies in the early 90s. They claim their recordings to be 'short and slightly surreal folk & pop songs', which is quite true. They put out a 26-song (!) debut album last November, funnily entitled The Philadelphia Parking Authority Must Die. This year's record holds only 22 tracks, of which some are quite short (some under 2 minutes, most of'em around 3). They also refer to them as 'song-sketches'. Musically you can hear inspiration taken from late 60s/early 70s folk/pop, with a touch of psychedelia. Roger McGuinn meets Neil Young meets Brian Wilson, diving into early Pink Floyd. The result is mostly very good indeed. Great melodies, beautiful harmonies. From the hovering opening track "Energy's Weight", via the somewhat Beach Boy-bluesy "Slow It Down", to the lazy, wide-streched instrumental "Random Homes", the excellent "When The Dawn Survives", which - together with "All The Rain Falls" - is the most 'full band sounding' song on the album, to the touchingly sad "Winter All The Time". Other great pop songs count "Lazy Smoke", "Tell the Stories", and the closing instrumental "Bridges On Lincoln & Kelly". List is long, right. If you're into the Kindercore label's music, or Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, or the Gerbils, or Elliott Smith, or the Apples in Stereo (check "Rooftop Sounds"), or...a lot of related of the above mentioned Kitchen USA is something for you.

Check out the TTA home site for info and amusement. Such as The Twin Atlas Top 10 for December 2001:
1. American Analog Set - Know by Heart CD
2. unemployment!
3. chicken cheesesteaks
4. slowly learning to play the piano
5. Jim O'Rourke - Insignificance CD
6. finding old & lost Yalta cassettes
7. impromptu vodka shots at Standard Tap
8. properly installing a printer
9. Fairmount Park / Wissahickon Ravine phila pa
10. George Harrison - All Things Must Pass CD

Copyright © 2001 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Twin Atlas articles/reviews: Good Light, Bring Along The Weather, Magic Car Wash, Sun Township.

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© 2011 Luna Kafé