After bringing an end to their alt rock/alt pop band Mechanical Smile back in 2014, Dawn and Murray Baxter have moved on to form alternative rock/emo troupe, Twin Heart. Thankfully, their debut EP, ‘Progress: Decline’, definitely doesn’t sound like the product of a set of beginners.
The record has some spirit and some backbone, and the band is trying their best to blend sweet emo pop hooks with screamo aggressiveness. Sometime they succeed, but sometimes it all sounds a bit too cliché. Opener ‘Ghosts’ is energetic enough and proves to be an effective introduction to the group, with its big riffs and sing-along chorus where Dawn‘s pure vocals clash with Murray‘s angry growls.
‘Young Eyes’ doesn’t offer much innovation, and the trio keep walking their well-trodden path towards being a generic emo band. That is, however, until they reach their destination in ‘Suffocating’, a song that probably lists all possible phrases found in any teenager’s notebooks since 2004 (“I’m alright / Don’t let me go.”, “Suffocating / Will I breathe again?”).
After all that, ‘Progress’ is a breath of fresh air, with the track length of only about a minute and featuring nothing but some stripped back guitar work and bells. It creates a wonderful prelude to ‘Speak To Me’, the song that shows the best of the band’s songwriting. The words we’ve heard too many times before (“I’ll keep fighting ’til the end”), stretched over a steady riff progression and enhanced by a Dawn/Murray vocal combo finally makes this song the epic anthem that we’ve all been waiting for.
‘Progress: Decline’ shows some bits of good songwriting. However, all in all, the EP is a bit too boring and, although the members here are certainly gifted and skilled, they seem to be reproducing something already heard countless times before instead of creating something their own. If you’re just generally into any emo-turned-pop band, give this a go. If you’re looking for more individuality and lyrical work with more substance, maybe this one is a pass.
Written by Raimonda Mikelsone (@_raimondaaa)