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ATP! Album Review: Twin Forks - S/T EP

Folk music isn’t a new genre by any means. In fact, there are more of us who are guilty of having a folk song or two on our iPods than you might think. Because of this, it’s getting harder and harder for folk artists to catch our attention since, let’s face it, it can all start to sound the same if you aren’t too careful. Of course, that didn’t stop us from being mighty intrigued when we heard of the folk/Americana super group consisting of Suzie Zeldin (The Narrative), Ben Homola (Bad Books), Jonathan Clark and Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional). We had caught up with the band during this year’s South by South West where we also saw them perform live-- more than once-- and basically we’ve been anticipating the EP ever since.


Well, it was most certainly worth the wait. You see, what sets this quartet apart from all the other mandolin/banjo/guitar plucking counterparts is that they breathe a new life into the genre. Where many might think Carrabba’s raw, scratchy, sometimes near-growl would clash with the light-hearted instrumentation and Zeldin’s delicate voice, it actually creates an awesome live feel. This isn’t completely polished and sometimes Carrabba’s voice seems to crack, but that’s okay because it’s real, and that’s what makes the group’s self-titled EP great. Had we not already experienced them live for ourselves, there would be no doubt in our minds now that they would put on one hell of a show.

Opening with "Back to You," a song that, without the aforementioned paradoxical voice pairing, would sound much like a light version of a Mumford & Sons track, but in the best way possible. It captures your attention and maybe will even make you want to stomp your foot, while setting listeners up for the musical journey they are about to embark on. While it acknowledges the fact that, yes, this is in fact a band fronted by Chris Carrabba of that Dashboard band that sang that "Stolen" song, it simultaneously knocks down any and all speculation that this is just another emo act.

The highlight of the release is the closing track "Scraping Up The Pieces." Opening with a promise that while Carrabba doesn’t have “no ring, but he can steal one on the way,” it feels almost like a promise that the listener is guaranteed to want to hit the repeat button by the end of it. Reminiscent of something you’d hear in a pub after a great night with friends--much like something Flogging Molly may produce-- "Scraping Up The Pieces" is the song old fans and new fans alike need to listen to if they are feeling any sort of hesitation towards the group. It highlights all parts of this band, the way Zeldin and Carrabba’s voices meld together, the excellent mandolin and foot stomping percussion as well as some great gang vocals to make it seem that much more live.

For better or worse, it’s evident that this is just the beginning for Twin Forks, but if this is what they’re producing straight out of the gate we can only imagine what’s to come. We want and need more. Like, now.


Victoria Patneaude

Twin Forks' debut self-titled EP will be released on September 17th via Dine Alone Records.

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