Twin Forks - Twin Forks

It might be cookie-cutter, but cookies are delicious.

Label: Dine Alone

Rating:

Remember the movie ‘500 Days Of Summer’? The bright and breezy romantic comedy starring the gawky-yet-clearly-handsome Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the ego-shatteringly beautiful Zooey Deschanel was a charming sweep through the perils of romance in your twenties. All blissful walks in the park and aspirational warehouse living it was an endearing, affecting movie. And yet, some of you didn’t even like it. ‘Oh Deschanel is really annoying and it’s just too twee’, the armchair critics moaned, reaching for their Manic Pixie Girl think-pieces. People are never satisfied, are they?.

Well, Twin Forks’ self-titled new album is basically ‘500 Days Of Summer’ in aural form. These are wistful tales of simple romance and linear heartache and/or joy played out on ukuleles, acoustic guitars and any other instrument you might commonly associate with a trendy coffee shop. It’s all held together by the familiar intonation of Chris Carrabba (yes, the bloke from Dashboard Confessional) who has long been a master of heart-on-sleeve rhetoric. Twin Forks benefit enormously from his well established songcraft and the polished precision with which he delivers his (albeit slightly teenage) poetry is nothing short of impressive.

It’s hyper-catchy too. Opener ‘Can’t Be Broken”s chorus has all the stomp of The Lumineers’ ‘Hey Ho’ but played at double speed, while the opening riff of ‘Cross My Mind’ feels like it should already have been used on an Apple Mac advert. The limited nuances that are on offer are pushed through the filter of gloss and sheen but if you suspend your disbelief and buy into Carrabba’s world for a moment, then there’s delight to be found. It might be cookie-cutter, but cookies are delicious.

In short, if you’re a Dashboard Confessional fan then you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. Full-blown pretty-boy emotion dished out by a musician as adept at pulling the heart strings with big, simple feelings as anyone you might care to name. It isn’t terribly complex or clever and if you are the sort of person who thinks calling the main protagonist in a movie Summer and the epiphanic character that follows her Autumn is a bit of a dumbshit move then you probably won’t like this. But if you want some honest, easy pleasure to see you through the dark nights and cold days, this is worth a punt.