Artist: The Two Tens
Label: Ugly Sugar Records
Release Date: 02/26/2016
Yes! There it is! I found a record that exudes the kind of hot tempered energy I want from a punk album: it’s fun, filthy and filled with zero bullshit. The minute I played the first track, I was excited to review this album, since unlike so many albums I’ve listened to in the last few months, it made me feel something other than “eh, it’s alright to listen to on the walk home.” There is so much indie and folk rock that is finding its way into the charts and hipster communities all over the States, that it’s refreshing to get something with an edge.
For those who are all about rock duos – the White Stripes, the Kills, Royal Blood – say hello to vocalist and guitarist Adam Bones and drummer Rikki Styxx that make up the L.A. based band the Two Tens. Bones’ guitar work is on point – fast and heavy, while also having a fair share of well thought out moments that allow his skills to shine. Styxx bangs the hell out of her drums. But, similar to Bones, she has moments illustrating her mastery of the instrument. The two work off each other so well that even in moments of chaos you hear synergy. The album channels the classic sound established by the Ramones back in the ’70s, while also having a contemporary spin on punk, similar to bands like FIDLAR, the Vaccines and SKATERS.
The first two songs off the album are grimy and erratic, and perfectly so. “Sweet as Pie” is simple and fast, talking about the need for a girl that won’t let you down. “Dreams” is treading on 90s Brit-pop/rock, and includes a well executed drum and guitar dual towards the end. “Rush Out” brings the irregularity found in the first two tracks, which makes it strategically placed to follow some of the previous “radio friendly” tracks. I could see “Rush Out” as being a song that’ll get fans at shows to let loose. “Care at All” sounds exactly how you would expect: loud yelling of the title and fast paced, the energy similar to that in “Rush Out.” “Life” has Bones working his guitar and playing a pretty awesome guitar riff. The final track comes along, with slow, drawn out sounds that seem to be inspired by psychedelic rock, Bones desperately and quietly singing “I can’t breathe.” However, this quickly changes to screaming and the duo goes back to its aggressive sound. It’s wonderful! The perfect ending for this record. The final track is just as good as the first.
Before I knew it the album was over, and I had to play it again. Not to overanalyze, because that’s unnecessary. But, to get to dance around to it in the comfort of my bedroom. For a debut album, Bones and Styxx got everything right. I’m already anticipating their sophomore release, and I am anxious to see them live. For an album title Volume, they definitely crank it up.
– Claudia Arnoldo