Dine Alone Records (label)
17 March 2014 (released)
26 February 2014
You could easily accuse former Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba of jumping on the folk-rock bandwagon for his new project, Twin Forks. The success of Mumford & Sons in the US has seen bands and labels go searching for a slice of the so-called nu-folk (whatever that is!) pie, and Carrabba has assembled his own four-piece that look to benefit from the trend.
He's joined by former The Narrative vocalist Suzie Zeldin, Ben Homola of Bad Books and Jonathan Clark (an old firne of Carrabba's) - and they make a foot stomping sound that is a cross between the over earnest pleas of Dashboard Confessional and Mumford's Celtic flavours. Like Mumford, it is not folk, it is not pure rock and it's not quite country. It's just good pop.
The approach is clinical - with the whistling singalong burst of Cross My Mind complete with hand claps and the yelping Back To You with its pounding rhythm. Both invoke images of sawdust covered floors and barn dances - but are ultimately made to soundtrack various festivals this summer. Along with the opening Can't Be Broken, with its rousing chorus, the album starts with foot down on the throttle. Drums beat at a fierce pace, guitars and mandolins duel and vocals tangle, leaving you exhausted before you are even half way through.
Something We Just Know exemplifies the perfect balance between Zeldin and Carrabba's vocals, while Danger is the closest thing here to his Emo band of old as the pace is unrelenting. If anything, there could be more variation but the likes of Kiss Me Darling and Plans do allow some breathing space. The album might be perceived as cynically opportunistic, but when it's this good, who cares?!